During its annual national dinner Saturday, Oct. 5, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) honored actor, entertainer and producer Jennifer Lopez with its 2013 Ally for Equality Award. Through the Lopez Family Foundation, founded with her sister Lynda, her goal is to increase the availability of quality health care and health education to women and children around the world.
“When no cameras are around, Jennifer Lopez uses her status to support UNESCO, AMFAR, countless children’s hospitals around the world, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF to fight AIDS in Africa, and dozens and dozens of other vital programs,” said legendary activist Gloria Steinem, who introduced Lopez.
In 2010, Lopez and her foundation opened the first telemedicine center at the San Jorge Children’s Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico and a second center at the University Pediatric Hospital at the Centro Medico.
Puerto Rico has a shortage of pediatric radiologists, which could lead to a delay in vital diagnostics and a delay in the interpretation of MRIs and CT scans for young patients. In partnership with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Lopez Family Foundation was able to provide Puerto Rico with tele-radiology technology to San Jorge Children’s Hospital.
The partnership provides a remote second opinion of MRI and CT images to critically ill children via a live link. Experienced pediatric radiologists in California can now view real-time CT and MRI images taken in Puerto Rico and provide much-needed interpretations faster than before.
Currently, Lopez is producing television series called ‘The Fosters.’ “It’s the story about a bi-racial same-sex couple who embraced foster care and foster parenting and have more than enough love to go around,” Lopez explained as the audience applauded.
Lopez said that she was honored and appreciative to accept the Ally for Equality Award but told the audience the award should be for collaborative achievements.
“It’s a celebration of us – said Lopez – of what we can accomplish when we throw fear out the window and opt to do what we know in our hearts is right.”