2023 Dr. Harold Keltz Distinguished Public Health Service Award Winner: Beverley Chang  

Beverley Chang, MPH, is the 2023 recipient of the Dr. Harold Keltz Distinguished Public Health Service Award.

 Ms. Chang, an internal medicine physician assistant with a master’s degree in public health, is a Peekskill resident who chairs the health committee of the Peekskill NAACP. Beverley Chang

The Dr. Harold Keltz Distinguished Public Health Service Award is presented to an individual or organization exemplifying the highest level of commitment and distinguished public health service to our community. The award is named for Dr. Keltz, a pulmonologist who devoted his career to the compassionate care of Tuberculosis patients in Westchester. As a tribute to his commitment to service, the board named this award for Dr. Keltz after his passing.

Beverley Chang led the committee’s efforts to inform and educate NAACP members and the Peekskill area community about COVID-19, so they could better protect themselves and their families. She and the members of the health committee also led efforts to promote other health topics aligned with the New York State Prevention Agenda, the County’s Health Improvement Plan and the National NAACP’s health priorities. Under her leadership, the Peekskill NAACP Health Committee has presented information on such topics as suicide prevention, domestic violence, sickle cell, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, summer safety and Alzheimer’s disease. Many of the presentations required collaboration with a number of other community organizations. She helped promote immunizations and helped organize COVID-19 vaccination events in Peekskill during the pandemic. During Black History Month in 2022, Ms. Chang and the health committee arranged a viewing of a documentary on health disparities and the importance of having more Black doctors and has encouraged minority students to pursue a career in medicine. She and the committee have secured a small COVID-19 health disparities grant from the New York State Department of Health to help address mental health.


 2023 J.R. Tesone Youth Public Health Service Award Winner: Jason Starr 

Jason Starr is a Briarcliff High School senior who channeled his concern for his grandmother during the pandemic into a public health research project that demonstrated a passion for public health and a concern for others. Using sophisticated disease modeling and computer coding, Jason created a website whereJason Starr communities could gauge the impact of intervention strategies while taking into account health disparities. He also founded Tutor Partnerships Incorporated, a not-for-profit tutoring network that helps school district set up free student-to-student tutoring and has chapters in 27 school districts. In fall 2023, Jason is headed to the University of Pennsylvania.

This award honors the memory of J.R. Tesone, a Westchester County Board of Health member who died in 2014.  J.R. Tesone devoted his life to making summers safe and fun for hundreds of children. He found his calling as a camp counselor and later became the dedicated owner and director of Breezemont Day Camp in Armonk.