Public Citizen Awards Two Women the Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award

Nov. 28, 2018

Public Citizen Awards Two Women the Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award

Employees of Nonprofit Organizations Will Be Honored for Longtime Dedication to Public Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cathy Barzey, an administrative assistant at Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and Elise Harper, a senior manager at the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation, will receive the 16th annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award at a reception at 4 p.m. EST today, at Public Citizen’s office at 1600 20th St. NW in Washington, D.C.

Cathy Chase, president of Advocates, said, “I know I speak for the staff and board in congratulating Cathy Barzey for receiving this prestigious and well-deserved award in recognition of her contributions. She both inspires us and ensures that we have the support we need to do our jobs well. Cathy always keeps calm and focused no matter how busy or difficult the daily challenges are and she never gets rattled, no matter how much pressure she is under.”

Harper also received praise for communication work and support. “I have worked with Elise for more than eight years and I have witnessed her strong work ethic, professionalism and good nature during this time,” said Alice Houk, senior director of health professional programs at the foundation, of Harper. “Most importantly, she has a wonderful rapport with the patients, caregivers and health professionals who contact us for support and information”

Public Citizen created the award after Phyllis McCarthy, a 24-year employee of its Health Research Group, passed away in November 2002. She worked for 24 years as a managing editor and office manager, playing an integral part in the development and preparation of publications, reports, medical journal articles and petitions to government agencies. The award recognizes individuals who have worked tirelessly for a public interest group, performing critical functions as did McCarthy, but who have not received public credit commensurate with their contributions.

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