Filmmaker and community activist Rob Reiner has been named honorary chair of "An Evening to Remember," Western University of Health Sciences’ (WesternU) fundraising event honoring C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD, with the Elie Wiesel Humanism in Healing Award.
The gala dinner/dance is Saturday, March 6, at the Hotel Inter-Continental in Los Angeles. Proceeds will benefit WesternU’s Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions (CDIHP).
Television news anchor and disabled rights activist Bree Walker will act as master of ceremonies. Reiner has directed some of the most popular and influential motion pictures of the past two decades, including "When Harry Met Sally?," "Misery," "A Few Good Men," "The American President," and many others. In addition to filmmaking, Reiner is an advocate for early-childhood development issues. He was instrumental in initiating the White House conference on early-childhood development and launched the "I Am Your Child" national awareness and engagement campaign to emphasize the need for quality early childhood development programs.
Reiner also was the author and chief promoter of California’s Proposition 10, a ballot initiative passed by state voters last November that added a 50-cent tax to each pack of cigarettes sold in California. The money, estimated to be as much as $700 million a year, will be channeled into anti-tobacco programs and early-childhood health and education. According to the American Cancer Society, the higher prices could result in an estimated 25 percent drop in smoking, and a subsequent savings in the state’s $7 billion annual cost of tobacco-related disease.
WesternU is honoring Dr. Koop with the Elie Wiesel Humanism in Healing Award for his contributions to science and public health-specifically in regard to how his contributions have benefited people with disabilities. He will be at the gala to accept the award. The Elie Wiesel Humanism in Healing Award-named for the internationally renowned Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor-is presented to an individual who best represents the philosophy and values of the University, and who has actively incorporated them toward the betterment of the human condition.
WesternU founded the CDIHP to prepare health care professionals to better meet the primary care needs of people with disabilities. Under the direction of nationally renowned disabled rights activist Brenda Premo, the CDIHP will emphasize both immediate reforms in educational curriculum as well as long-term research on policies and related issues. Representatives from the health professions, the disabled rights community, government, non-profit organizations and the general public are expected to attend the March 6 dinner.
Tickets are $150 per person. For more information regarding the gala, contact WesternU’s Campaign Development Department at (909) 623-6116.