National Spirit of Meridian Award
Meridian Health Services hosted Patrick Kennedy, former U.S. Congressman on Friday, April 13, 2018 at the Downtown Indianapolis Marriott for a speaking engagement to a full capacity audience, and honored Kennedy with the first National Spirit of Meridian Award.
Kennedy shared his personal journey with addiction and mental health with a captive audience. He explained finding his voice advocating for mental health legislation, and spoke in regard to his national platform and how it may affect state and local policies.
Kennedy reflects Meridian’s vision for more integrated healthcare systems and whole-person health. He brought along his latest book, “A Common Struggle: A Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness”, and signed copies for guests in attendance.
During his 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Rhode Island’s First Congressional District, Patrick J. Kennedy fought to end discrimination against mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. He is best known as the lead sponsor of the groundbreaking Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), which was passed with bi-partisan support, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 3, 2008. The Federal Parity Law provides millions of Americans, previously denied care, with access to mental health and addiction treatment by requiring insurance companies to treat illnesses of the brain, such as depression and addiction, the same way they treat illnesses of the body, such as diabetes and cancer.