Supporting Essential Medical Healthcare for Vulnerable Population in Lebanon
The René Moawad Foundation USA (RMF USA) held its 14th annual Miami benefit dinner on April 1, 2023 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Coconut Grove, Miami. The gala brought together RMF’s Miami supporters and friends to celebrate and honor two prominent and accomplished Lebanese Americans, Dr. François and Mrs. Micheline Nader- a power couple with tremendous achievements in the pharmaceutical and healthcare fields- for their distinguished lifetime achievements and outstanding community service. Click here to watch award presentations video. The gala, whose main theme was Preserving Hope in Lebanon, raised funds to support RMF’s new MEDCHRONIC Program which will assist chronic care patients with free healthcare and medications.
The gala served as a symbol of the shining and guiding stars that are the Diaspora and their critical role for Lebanon and the Lebanese. Nadia Abourizk-Asaad, RMF USA’s Executive Director, in her opening remarks emphasized the role the Lebanese diaspora plays in supporting RMF and how their generous support has touched and transformed lives and is providing many Lebanese with hope for the future. Mrs. Rima Ortakji, the Foundation’s Vice Chair and the event chair, laid out the purpose of this gathering, which is to preserve hope to the inherent rights of the underserved people of Lebanon, to food, shelter, education, healthcare, work opportunities, equality, and most of all human dignity and thanked the audience and generous supporters for sustaining this noble mission. She thanked all for being a lifeline for Lebanon and acknowledged the presence of many RMF Board Members who came from all over the US.
In a brief message presented virtually, Mr. Wael Hachem, charge d'affaires of the Lebanese Embassy in Washington DC, emphasized the need to maintain Lebanon's much-needed hope in light of the current political and economic difficulties the nation is facing, which are driving many Lebanese to despair. Click here to watch Wael Hachem's Message
RMF Lebanon’s Executive Director and MP Michel Moawad’s keynote speech described the hardships and ugliness that the Lebanese people face daily, including the horrors of the Beirut blast, impunity, corruption, poverty, the collapse of the banking system, and the limited access to healthcare. Click here to watch RMF video describing the conditions. He emphasized that the accomplishments of the Lebanese diaspora, as evidenced with the evening’s honorees, are the real face of the nation, and that the Lebanese once given the opportunity will flourish everywhere. He asserted that no NGO, no matter how far reaching their impact might be as RMF’s, Click here to view RMF Projects, can take the place of the state and its institutions, hence the need for reform to have a better Lebanon. Click here to watch Michel Moawad’s remarks.
Furthermore, Moawad emphasized that the failing healthcare system is preventing people from accessing basic healthcare, putting individuals who have chronic diseases at risk. He announced the launching of RMF's MEDCHRONIC program, to assist disadvantaged and underprivileged Lebanese who suffer from chronic illnesses (except cancer patients) and those who live in remote places and cannot afford to travel for medical care. This program will serve 3000 additional patients and will cost $60,000 per year, or $20 per patient each month. Click here to watch RMF Medchronics Program
The evening was masterfully emceed by two prominent Miami figures, Dr. Julio Gallo and media personality Mr. Louis Aguirre; it also featured a meaningful performance by Nibal Malshi, who serenaded the audience with some Lebanese medleys including "Saalone El Nas" and “LiBeirut” as well as the national anthems of both Lebanon and the United States.