The STARR Coalition, a non-profit committed to supporting mental health clinical research, today announced the winners of the STARR of Excellence 2020 Awards. The winning organizations are recognized for their outstanding work on behalf of mental health clinical research and advocacy.
This year’s winners are:
- STARR of Excellence 2020 Sponsor of the Year: Alkermes
- STARR of Excellence 2020 CRO of the Year: Syneos Health
- STARR of Excellence 2020 Site of the Year: Neuro-Behavioral Clinical Research
- STARR of Excellence 2020 Advocate of the Year: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- STARR 2020 Lew Yagodnik Award: Matthew Shapiro, NAMI New York State
Alkermes was selected for the STARR of Excellence 2020 Sponsor of the Year Award based on their leadership and contributions to mental health clinical research, as well as the company’s commitment to bringing the patient advocacy voice to the forefront of their work. Accepting on behalf of Alkermes was Lesley White, Manager, Patient Engagement, Public Affairs, who stated, “I am honored to accept this award from the STARR Coalition and, with the entire team at Alkermes, stand committed to continue building authentic, long-term relationships with national and local advocacy organizations as we work to help advance innovation with the potential to improve treatment options and outcomes for people living with serious mental illness.”
Syneos Health was presented with the STARR of Excellence 2020 CRO of the Year Award based on their unwavering commitment and dedication to building goodwill across the mental health clinical research ecosystem and within the communities they serve. “Our team has worked hand-in-hand with The STARR Coalition on a number of projects and we have enormous esteem for our colleagues at the STARR, who work tirelessly on behalf of mental health clinical research. I am privileged to accept this award, which acknowledges Syneos Health’s dedication to running rigorous, impactful clinical trials and breaking down the barriers keeping treatments from getting to those who need them.” commented Dr. Alexandra Wise-Rankovic, Senior Vice President, Clinical Development at Syneos Health.
Shishuka Malhotra, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at Neuro-Behavioral Clinical Research, stated, “It is an honor to receive the STARR of Excellence 2020 Site of the Year Award. The entire mental health field benefits from the deep well of trust that is established through the STARR’s programs we are immensely proud to be part of this community so clearly devoted to the improvement of lives of those living with mental illness.”
The STARR of Excellence 2020 Advocate of the Year was presented to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), who has distinguished themselves among stellar advocacy organizations in their ongoing commitment to the well-being of individuals they serve and to educating the public on the importance of mental health research to developing new treatments. Accepting the Award was DBSA CEO Michael Pollock, who said, “On behalf of everyone at DBSA, our sincere thanks for the recognition. We appreciate our partnership with the STARR Coalition. Every inch we advance together is a step toward improving the lives of those living with depression and bipolar disorder. We are proud to contribute to that progress.”
The STARR 2020 Lew Yagodnik Award, recognizing an outstanding individual advocate, was presented to Matthew Shapiro, Associate Director of Public Affairs for NAMI New York State, in grateful recognition of his tremendous compassion for and unrelenting dedication to serving those living with brain disorders. “I am honored and humbled by this award. I am very proud to be a part of the STARR Coalition and of the work we have done together this year to promote partnering in research. Our mission is more important than ever as we cannot recover from the events of 2020 without addressing psychiatric issues and research is a critical component of this goal. We need to keep advocating that we can’t recover without research.” said Shapiro.
This year’s Awards were presented by Luke Kramer, Executive Director of The STARR Coalition, and Carol Witham, Board Chair for The STARR Coalition. “We are delighted to recognize this year’s winners – they have shown amazing dedication and have each made exceptional contributions to mental health clinical research and advocacy,” said Kramer.
Founded in 2015 as a forum for the leaders in mental health clinical research, The STARR Coalition is a non-profit, independent organization committed to supporting mental health clinical research by cultivating community engagement, promoting trust, and fostering partnerships and goodwill among stakeholders in mental health advocacy and clinical research. This is the 6th year for the STARR of Excellence Awards, which recognize outstanding service to mental health clinical research and advocacy.