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Ashton honored with Distinguished Service to Philanthropy Award

Judy Ashton on the Aston Family Terrace

Judy Ashton, a long-time peer volunteer within Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry, was recently honored with the Distinguished Service to Philanthropy Award by the New England Association for Healthcare Philanthropy.

BWFH President David McCready first met Ashton when he was new to the organization and she initiated a meeting with him to discuss ideas to support the Department of Psychiatry. “We really need more people like Judy,” he says. “She is willing to be a leader in contributing and donating to mental health and psychiatric services both in what she does with her own time and her own expertise and her own dedication, which has a huge impact, and in her generosity, which has allowed us to do some really remarkable things.”

The Distinguished Service to Philanthropy Award, established in 1978, recognizes an extraordinary philanthropist in New England who has made significant contributions to a New England healthcare organization. Recipients possess the following qualities:

  • Provides and inspires significant (as defined by the institution) philanthropic funding to the nominating institution.
  • Advocates on behalf of the organization.
  • Acts as an ambassador in the community on behalf of the organization.
  • Connects others to the organization through their passion.
  • Is charitable to other organizations in their community.
  • Volunteers in the community.
  • Is well-regarded and respected in the community.
  • Provides leadership and vision for the organization.
  • Someone who does not seek recognition for themselves.

Ashton embodies all of these qualities. She was recognized not only for her work as a peer volunteer and founder of the Allies peer support group, but also for the generous contributions she has made to improving care on 2 South, the hospital’s inpatient psychiatric unit, over the years.

“Judy is a real cherished member of our community,” says Director of Inpatient Psychology and Training Christopher AhnAllen, PhD. “When she comes onto the unit, she is somebody that people naturally gravitate toward. She is warm. She is empathic. She really listens and really cares about the people that she cares for and looks out for in our community.”

Chief of Psychiatry John Fromson, MD, also praises Ashton for the connection she makes with her patients and her generosity, which includes funding the Ashton Family Terrace and the peer support program. “You can see from the incredible amount of direct service and philanthropy, Judy is indeed an extraordinary person,” he says.

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