Every year, amidst the celebration of our Board of Directors' Annual Dinner, we pause to reflect on and honor the legacy of former Board and Community Advisory Council member Dr. Corinne Walentik. Dr. Walentik was a powerful advocate who helped shape the Foundation in its early days and whose work included saving the lives of countless infants as a doctor in the neonatal intensive care unit.
We pay tribute to her commitment to serving vulnerable groups, especially children, through our Dr. Corinne Walentik Leadership in Health award. The honor is presented annually to a health leader in Missouri who exemplifies the passion, dedication, and energy she brought to her work.
In 2018 we named Brittany "Tru" Kellman, founder and executive director of Jamaa Birth Village, as the honoree. Since 2015, Kellman and her team at Jamaa have been caring for and empowering expectant mothers and their families through midwifery services. The organization focuses on racial and health disparities that women and families of color face when seeking access to quality maternal health care. Kellman joins an elite list of prior awardees, including Dr. Katie Plax, Sister Anne Francioni, Dr. Jason Purnell, and DiAnne Mueller.