DOH News Release: Paul Groesbeck to receive Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award on 2017 World AIDS Day

Posted on Nov 27, 2017 in Latest News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) Harm Reduction Services Branch is pleased to announce that Paul Groesbeck will receive the 2017 Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award for his outstanding contributions to HIV/AIDS services in Hawaii. The award will be presented during the annual World AIDS Day ceremony at the Cathedral of St. Andrew from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Friday, Dec. 1.

For 25 years, Groesbeck has served as executive director of the Life Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV and assisting people throughout Hawaii and the Pacific who are living with or at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS. Since 1992, he has spearheaded the Life Foundation’s efforts to raise funds through government and foundation grants, individual and corporate donations, and public fundraising events like the annual Honolulu AIDS Walk.

Groesbeck collaborated with DOH on a number of legislative bills to modernize HIV laws and supported confidential HIV testing and reporting. He has also long been a strong and vocal advocate for tolerance, respect and equality for Hawaii’s gay and transgendered communities.

Groesbeck has achieved numerous accomplishments during his 25 years of service. During the 1990s, he helped to establish Hawaii’s syringe exchange program, one of the first in the nation, to prevent transmission of blood borne diseases. In the 2000s, he pushed for the expansion of compassionate care and nutrition through case management for all persons in Hawaii living with HIV. During the 2010s, he advocated for expanded HIV testing in the general population through free HIV testing provided by the Life Foundation. Recently, he has emphasized HIV prevention through programs such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for people at-high risk to take daily medication to lower their chances of HIV infection.

Under Groesbeck’s leadership, the Life Foundation remains a welcoming haven for people of all ethnic groups and backgrounds. He has earned a well-deserved reputation for compassion, dedication and integrity for those at risk for and living with HIV/AIDS, their family and friends.

“Mr. Groesbeck is the ideal individual who epitomizes the Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award. His greatest contribution has been his passionate endeavors to destigmatize HIV and people living with HIV,” said Dr. Dominic Chow, the 2014 recipient of the Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award and a professor in the Department of Medicine and clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Hawaii-Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine.

The award is given annually in memory of the late Suzanne Richmond-Crum, former director of the Hawaii Seropositivity and Medical Management Program of the DOH Harm Reduction Services Branch, for her exemplary work in providing HIV-related care and AIDS prevention services. This year marks the 14th annual bestowing of the award.

The annual World AIDS Day ceremony in Hawaii is open to the public and commemorates those who have lost their lives to the epidemic and honors those working to end the disease. For more information on the Dec. 1 ceremony and all statewide World AIDS Day events, go to: www.worldaidsdayhawaii.org.

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