Photo credit: MAHF

About 300 people gathered in New York City last week to celebrate this year’s Medical Advertising Hall of Fame honorees as well as look back at the organization’s last 20 years.

The MAHF this year inducted Scott Cotherman, former CEO of CAHG, and C. Marshall Paul, former president of ACNielsen/HCI, into the 2016 Hall of Fame. 

In Cotherman’s speech, he raised the question of how a figure like Martin Shkreli, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals and now the poster child for industry’s perceived indifference to the effects of high drug prices on patients, can affect the optimism of those who chose a career in healthcare advertising.

“We need your passion,” he said. “We need your leadership.”

See also: Medical Advertising Hall of Fame inductees of 2016

Ken Begasse Sr., founder and CEO of Concentric Health Experience, who passed away in 2010, was given the lifetime achievement award.

“He helped us all to dream in our strategy, to push the boundaries of what could be done, not to settle on the obvious or the easy-to-sell strategy,” Ken Begasse Jr. told MM&M in a story published earlier this month about his father’s legacy. “He would rather lose a pitch with the right strategy than win a pitch with a strategy that couldn’t work.”

The MAHF also honored 18 young executives—the executives must be younger than 30 years old and have worked in medical advertising for less than five years—as part of its Future Famers program. It’s the fifth year the Future Famers program has been in place.

Three of the Future Famers: Cassidy Crook of Sentrix Health Communications (left); Chelsea Higgins, of Imprint Science, and Connor Delaney of Sudler & Hennessey. Photo credit: MAHF

“You [could] look right into the faces of the industry’s future and you feel great to be a part of it,” Charlene Prounis, CEO and managing partner of Flashpoint Medica, said in an email. “It is the passing of the baton from the Hall of Famers to the Future Famers and you know we’ll be in good hands.”

See also: Millennials advocate for technology and promotion at agencies but are slow to take risks

This year’s honorees are: AbelsonTaylor’s Alicia Griffith, Concentric Health Experience’s Peter Pasco, Corbett’s Nicholas Sherwin, Digitas Health LifeBrands’ Timothy Ryan, Discovery USA’s Tyler Brown, Flashpoint Medica’s Laura Janka, Havas Life Metro’s Nikki Magers, H4B Catapult’s Allison Haran, H4B Chelsea’s Chris Flores, Imprint Publication Science’s Chelsea Higgins, JUICE Pharma Worldwide’s Derek McLamb, Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide’s Amy Demoreuille, Publicis Life Brands Medicus’ Funmi Olosunde, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness’ Kevin Troyanos, Sandbox’s Maggie Bronny, Sentrix Health’s Cassidy Crook, Sudler & Hennessey’s Connor Delaney, and TBWA/WorldHealth’s Jordan Lichay.

The annual awards event was held February 11 at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.