From left: David Martin, Mass Health Council Executive Director; Mike Sroczynski, Mass Health Council President and VP of Government Advocacy at the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association; Helene Solomon, CEO, Solomon McCown & Company and Jim Roosevelt, former CEO of Tufts Health Plan on stage at the 96th Mass Health Council Gala. (Photo by Dan Busler Photography)

Five hundred members of the health care community recently attended the 96th Massachusetts Health Council Gala in a celebration of advocacy, wellness and healthy living. Solomon McCown & Co. CEO and Mass Health Council board member Helene Solomon co-chaired the evening’s festivities, along with former Tufts Health Plan CEO Jim Roosevelt, to honor local leaders who have dedicated their time to making a difference in the health care industry.

Tuesday’s event, which was highlighted in the ‘Names’ column of The Boston Globe, marked the inaugural gala for David Martin as Executive Director of the Council after he was appointed to his role last December.

U.S. Senator Ed Markey was on hand to present the evening’s first award to Michael Botticelli, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Dr. Thomas Lee, chief medical officer of Press Ganey Associates; Dolores Mitchell, longtime executive director of the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission and ‘Workplace Wellness’ awardee athenahealth were also honored for their efforts to improve the health of people across the Commonwealth. WBZ-TV News Medical Correspondent Dr. Mallika Marshall served as emcee for the evening.

As part of the Council’s efforts to promote healthy living, celebrity Chef and James Beard Award Winner Ana Sortun designed a three-course meal to the delight of attendees. She also served on an expert culinary judging panel in for the Gala’s “Best of the Best” hospital chef competition, in which executive chefs from seven local health care organizations served delicious and nutritious appetizers to guests, who cast ballots for their favorite. Benchmark Senior Living took the “People’s Choice” crown as the most popular dish, with UMass Memorial Medical Center and Atria Senior Living finishing in second and third place, respectively. Chef Sortun and her expert colleagues dubbed Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital as winners of the “Chef’s Choice” competition.

SM& had a wonderful time on Tuesday and sends a big thanks to the incredible staff at Mass Health Council along with Marjorie Clapprood, Chris Spinazzola and their team at Clappazzola Partners for putting on an excellent event. We look forward to next year!