Announcing Our #HCH2019 Award Winners

The National HCH Council is excited to announce the five individuals to be honored at the Awards Lunch of our 2019 National HCH Conference & Policy Symposium on Friday, May 24, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Learn more about the honorees below.


Philip W. Brickner National Leadership Award

Barbara Conanan, St. Vincent’s Hospital

Barbara Conanan is a nurse who has provided national-level leadership to the HCH movement from its earliest days. As the closest associate of Dr. Brickner in the Department of Community Medicine of St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York, she was central to the development of the outreach-oriented multidisciplinary approach that distinguishes HCH as the model for all good health care. She mentored nascent HCH projects during the original demonstration program and provided expert technical assistance to grantees as communities across the country duplicated the model with federal funding. As the very existence of her own department was threatened by a series of hospital closures and mergers, she deftly ensured its survival, and it continues to prosper within the NYU Langone/Lutheran Family Health Centers, despite her recent retirement. Much of Barbara’s leadership has been provided through the National HCH Council, including two terms as our President (1998-99 and 2003-4) and service on countless committees and work groups. As a bringer of constant good cheer, a focus on client needs, and a commitment to excellence and dogged determination, she has won the respect and hearts of many.


Karen Rotondo Award for Outstanding Service

Deborah Borne, San Francisco Department of Public Health

The winner of the Rotondo Award is Deborah Borne, MSW, MD, Medical Director of the Transitions Division at San Francisco Health Network in the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Deb has spent nearly 30 years—first as a social worker and then as a family physician—serving individuals wherever they are with dignity and kindness. She has built collaborations and started programs to innovatively address care for individuals living in encampments, women who are pregnant and experiencing homelessness, and the stigma and paternalism that can prevent people experiencing homelessness from accessing care. Deb’s colleagues and clients are grateful for her enthusiasm, hope, humility, humor, and energy, as well as the compassion and holistic perspective she brings to her clinical work and her advocacy.


Ellen Dailey Consumer Advocate Award

Joseph Benson, Healthcare for the Homeless – Houston

Joseph Benson’s numerous nominators highlighted the passion, compassion, knowledge, empathy, and love that he brings to this work, transforming not only his own community and health center but also the entire Health Care for the Homeless community. Wearing his signature cowboy hat, Joseph has served on his local CAB for almost 20 years, on NCAB as a Member at Large and Chair, and currently on the Board of Directors for the National HCH Council. He has spearheaded voter registration efforts, helped ensure transportation for people experiencing homelessness in Houston, and most importantly, he engages people in a way in which he truly sees them. One nominator stated that, “Clear, articulate, mischievous, and always endearing, Joseph is a healer who brings people together and celebrates the best in each of us while calling us to never forget the enduring tragedy of homelessness in our society.”


Willie J. Mackey National Medical Respite Award

Brooks Ann McKinney, Cone Health System

Brooks Ann McKinney, MSW, is currently the Head of Vulnerable Populations at Cone Health System in Greensboro, NC. Brooks Ann started as a case manager in emergency shelters 20 years ago and evolved into administering and developing projects including medical respite care, permanent supportive housing, and a federal grant approval for a new FQHC/HCH clinic with outreach sites in public housing. She is on the Board of Directors for the National HCH Council, National Alliance on789 Mental Illness, and other efforts to advocate for housing and health care solutions with consumer voices prioritized. Her current role in the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is to successfully implement coordination of care models including a medical respite program with the ultimate goal of ending homelessness.


John N. Lozier Scholarship for New Members

Rachel Murphy, First Nations Community HealthSource

Rachel Murphy, a nurse practitioner at First Nations Community HealthSource in Albuquerque, NM, is the recipient of the Lozier Scholarship. Murphy is the medical lead for her organization’s Homeless Outreach Program, which provides critical services to vulnerable populations in New Mexico, including Native Americans without homes. Having worked to expand First Nations’ homeless outreach team and to implement the use of hepatitis C and suboxone treatment in her clinic, Murphy is a highly respected member of her organization who works to ensure that all her clients have access to excellent care.