2022 Red Cross Heritage Award: Helene D. Gayle, M.D., M.P.H.

2022 Red Cross Heritage Award: Helene D. Gayle, M.D., M.P.H.

In addition to recognizing the exemplary 2022 Class of Heroes, the Red Cross of Illinois presents the prestigious Heritage Award, annually as part of its Heroes Breakfast event. The Heritage Award recognizes the consummate spirit of heroism and humanitarianism at a distinguished level. It acknowledges the demonstration of long-term commitment to improvement of the lives of others through actions, deeds, and philanthropic works in the corporate and civic communities.

Dr. Gayle has been president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, since October 2017. Under her leadership, the Trust has adopted a new strategic focus on closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region. Trained as a pediatrician, Dr. Gayle’s career has spanned public health and global development fields. For almost a decade, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of CARE, a leading international humanitarian organization. An expert on global development, humanitarian and health issues, she spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. She worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Dr. Gayle earned a B.A. at Barnard College, M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.P.H. at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Gayle has been recognized as one of Chicago’s most powerful women by Better in 2019, and featured in a Founder’s Fireside Chat in 2021.

Read more about the 2022 American Red Cross of Greater Chicago’s Red Cross Heroes and how you can join us in making a difference.