ATHENA Award Recipient


Lynn M. Banaszak
Executive Director at the Health Innovation in Pennsylvania Disruptive Health Technology Institute
Carnegie Mellon University

Lynn Banaszak

At the Disruptive Health Technology Institute, for which she led the launch in 2013, Lynn Banaszak has directed more than $4.5 million to 36 new, disruptive technologies that are bringing transformational improvements in the affordability, accessibility, quality and simplicity of healthcare solutions. Over the last 15 years she has been responsible for developing strategic road mapping for many healthcare and life sciences companies and has overseen product and technology development and marketing implementation for tech startups. Formerly, she was chief relationship officer at the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse. In addition to her professional duties, Banaszak is noted by her peers for providing extensive mentoring activities and commitments to help foster leadership skills, civic engagement, professional and personal development and entrepreneurial creativity, regionally and nationally. She is described as a "connector" … one who is "thoughtful and strategic about making sure that the most constituents as possible can benefit from any situation, particularly women and girls." Just a few of the many organizations and groups with which she actively engages include 100 Women Who Care, Pittsburgh Women in Bio, the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh's Tile Quilt Campaign, Women and Girls Foundation, Coro Pittsburgh's Women in Leadership and A Day in My Shoes Pittsburgh. In nominating her for the ATHENA award, one of Banaszak's peers wrote, "She pays it forward and is always quick to help, connect and mentor whenever the opportunity presents itself. She epitomizes the character of ATHENA."

View Lynn Banaszak's Acceptance Speech


ATHENA Young Professional Award Recipient


Josie Badger
Youth Development Director
Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership (PEAL) Center

Josie Badger

Badger is recognized across Pennsylvania and nationally for her work in leadership development among youth with disabilities. In 2007, she graduated summa cum laude from Geneva College, majoring in disability law and advocacy. She earned a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling in 2009 from the University of Pittsburgh and pursued a doctorate in healthcare ethics from Duquesne University in 2014. She serves as campaign manager for #IWantToWork, a statewide advocacy campaign that has successfully lobbied for changes to policy and legislation to promote employment and full inclusion for individuals with disabilities. Badger helped to found and then lead the Children's Hospital Advisory Network for Guidance and Empowerment (CHANGE), an organization dedicated to improving the transition from pediatric to adult healthcare for youth with disabilities and complex health conditions. She was selected in 2011 as Ms. Wheelchair America – traveling nationally and internationally in that role – to educate the public about the potential for people with disabilities to lead full and enriching lives. In her award nomination it was recognized that "women and girls need to learn to navigate both internal and external barriers to success – issues which are compounded for women with disabilities who encounter daily stigma and discrimination." One of her mentees shared how Badger "helped her find her own voice [as a woman with a disability] and to realize that "being ordinary isn't really what I wanted. Walking or not walking, I wanted to be extraordinary."

View Josie Badger's Acceptance Speech


  • 2014 – Diane Holder (ATHENA Award) / Amelia Papapetropoulos (ATHENA Young Professional Award)
  • 2013 – Laura Ellsworth (ATHENA Award) / Amiena Mahsoob (ATHENA Young Professional Award)
  • 2012 – Kim Berkeley Clark (ATHENA Award) / Christy Uffelman (ATHENA Young Professional Award)
  • 2011 – MJ Tocci* (ATHENA Award) / Jennifer Cairns (ATHENA Young Professional Award)
  • 2010 – Bernadette Eyler Smith
  • 2009 – Mary Ann Dunham
  • 2008 – Kate Dewey
  • 2007 – The Honorable Cynthia A. Baldwin
  • 2006 – Leslie Braksick
  • 2005 – Judie Donaldson
  • 2004 – Mary Beth Buchanan
  • 2003 – Gwen Elliott*
  • 2002 – Dr. Katherine Henderson
  • 2001 – Michele Fabrizi
  • 2000 – Anita Brattina
  • 1999 – Irma Goertzen
  • 1998 – Dr. Barbara Mistick
  • 1997 – Dr. Doreen Boyce
  • 1996 – Dr. Cynthia Chertos
  • 1995 – Canice Dolan
  • 1994 – Delorese Ambrose*
  • 1993 – Barbara Moore
  • 1992 – Beth Adams*
  • 1991 – Sheryl Clark Stoll

*Deceased


ATHENA Awards Program of Greater Pittsburgh


Home | About | ATHENA Award | Past Recipients | Sponsors/Partners | Previous Events | Contact Us

footer logo