Community Solutions Award for Public Service in Honor of John A. Begala

Home / Community Solutions Award for Public Service in Honor of John A. Begala

In 2022, Senator Matt Dolan, Ohio Senate, and Commissioner Erica Crawley, Franklin County Commissioners, were awarded The Award for Outstanding Public Service Award in Honor of John A. Begala for their strong commitment to improving health and human services in Ohio, including their work supporting the expansion of Medicaid coverage in the postpartum period for birthing individuals.

The Center for Community Solutions Award for Public Service in Honor of John A. Begala was established in 2015 to honor those who have shown a great commitment to public service, especially as it relates to improving health and human services in Ohio.

Award recipients have included:

2021: Governor Mike DeWine, and Maureen Corcoran, Ohio’s Medicaid director, were honored for their commitment to bringing coordinated care to children who have complex behavioral health care needs through the introduction and implementation of OhioRISE.

2020: Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) and Kimberly Hall, the Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services were honored for their efforts to create the Pandemic-EBT program, which provided critical assistance to hundreds of thousands of Ohio school-aged children.

2019: Rep. Janine R. Boyd (D-9), Rep. Stephanie D. Howse (D-11) and Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-34) were honored for their efforts to address maternal health issues.

2018: Sen. Dave Burke (R-26) was honored for his efforts to address health and social needs of Ohioans, especially as the chair of the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee—which he played a lead role in establishing. A pharmacist by trade, he played an integral role in shutting down pill mills in Ohio, which was an early, vital step in addressing the opioid crisis.

2017: Greg Moody, director of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, was honored for his efforts to modernize Ohio’s Medicaid program and to improve health care quality and outcomes in Ohio

2016: State Representatives Nickie Antonio (D-13) and Robert Sprague (R-83) were honored for their efforts to address Ohio’s opiate crisis and their work on the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee

2015: Sen. Shannon Jones (R-7) and Sen. Charleta Tavares (D-15) were honored for their bipartisan work on addressing the state’s unacceptably high infant mortality rate

The award is named after John A. Begala, Community Solutions’ former executive director and a three-term member of the Ohio House of Representatives. Begala dedicated his career to public service and the human service field, with leadership positions at The MetroHealth System in Cleveland, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Greater Cincinnati Hospital Association and the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. Begala believes that, “stripped of all trappings, health and social services are fundamentally acts of love and there are few better ways to make a living.” He retired in December 2014.

The 2023 awards ceremony will be a part of the annual Celebration of Human Services program, which will include presentations of the $25,000 Anisfield-Wolf Memorial Award to a nonprofit organization and the Most Treasured Volunteer Awards. It will be held on Friday, October 20, at the Intercontinental Cleveland Hotel, located at 9801 Carnegie Avenue, Cleveland, OH, 44106.

The Center for Community Solutions is a nonprofit, non-partisan think tank focusing on solutions to health, social and economic issues in Northeast Ohio. Established in 1913.