Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute

Elizabeth Burke Bryant Hero Award

Brown University’s Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute seeks nominations for the inaugural Elizabeth Burke Bryant Hero Award.

The Elizabeth Burke Bryant Hero Award was announced by Brown University’s Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute in the winter of 2022 to honor Elizabeth Burke Bryant’s 28-year tenure as the Executive Director of Rhode Island Kids Count, and her life-long role as a  champion of child welfare in Rhode Island and across the United States. 

The Hero Award will be given to an individual, or team of individuals, who exemplify Elizabeth’s values and her commitment to improving the lives of Rhode Island’s children and families. The qualifications of nominees will be reviewed by a Selection Committee, which will determine the award recipient. In your nomination, please include specific examples that speak to how the  nominee and their work exemplify the following values:

  • focused on child health and wellbeing, while mindful of the wellness of entire families  and communities;  
  • collaborative and effective; 
  • driven by a commitment to social justice;
  • committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion; 
  • respectful of diverse cultures; and 
  • prideful in developing mentoring relationships with other colleagues 


While anyone working in Rhode Island, on behalf of Rhode Island’s children, is eligible, the  Selection Committee is particularly interested in recognizing efforts by ‘front line’ individuals working in the community, who are likely to be overlooked by conventional award mechanisms.  Individuals and teams whose primary affiliations are to Brown University are ineligible.

The individual (or team) will be:

  • Provided with a $5000 dollar stipend (given to their organization) to further their work;
  • Recognized for their work at dinner with the Hassenfeld Institute Presidential Advisory  Council; 
  • Have their name put on plaques displayed at the Brown University School of Public  Health and Warren Alpert School of Medicine; 
  • Recognized for their work publicly on the Hassenfeld Institute website; and  
  • In a deliberate effort to further magnify impact and broader awareness, where feasible  and mutually agreed upon, award recipients and their organization will be supported  through in-kind Hassenfeld Institute resources, such as evaluation expertise, survey  design, data analysis, grant writing, and graduate student support. 


Nominations should be sent electronically to Andrea Chu, MPH at Andrea_Chu@brown.edu,  and must be received by April 12, 2023. In approximately one page, please include your  nominee’s: 

  • Name 
  • Current position 
  • History of service 
  • Significant accomplishments 

Since the Section Committee may require further information, please include your name,  organizational affiliation, how you know the nominee, email address, and telephone number.

The inaugural recipient will be recognized at the Hassenfeld Institute’s Presidential Advisory  Council Meeting on May 12, 2023. 

  • Elizabeth Burke Bryant

    Elizabeth Burke Bryant

    Elizabeth Burke Bryant served as Executive Director of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT from its inception in 1994 until November 2022. KIDS COUNT is a children’s policy and research organization that provides information on child well-being, stimulates dialogue on children’s issues, and promotes accountability and action. Rhode Island KIDS COUNT provides policy makers, community leaders, and the news media with the best available data and information on children’s health, education, safety, and economic security. The organization produces a quarterly Issue Brief Series, hosts a monthly cable television program, and publishes the annual Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Factbook. 

    Referred to as ‘a hero for children and for justice,’ Elizabeth is widely considered to be Rhode Island’s most effective advocate for children. Under her leadership, KIDS COUNT helped achieve a nationally recognized Pre-K program in Rhode Island, full-day kindergarten, near universal children’s health insurance coverage, a significant  reduction in childhood lead poisoning, and reversal of a law that allowed 17-year-olds to be  tried as adults and sent to adult prison.  

    A native of Providence, Elizabeth received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of  Vermont and a law degree from George Washington University. Her previous positions include  Policy Director for the City of Providence, Housing Court prosecutor, and consultant to Rhode  Island Housing, The Rhode Island Foundation, and the Women's Prison Mentoring Project.  Elizabeth is Co-Chair of the Rhode Island Early Learning Council.