Richard Halpert, a Varnum personal injury attorney, has been selected to receive the 2013 Alan and Delwyn Breslau Award from the Grand Rapids-based Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.
The national nonprofit is dedicated to empowering anyone affected by a burn injury.
The award is the highest distinction the Phoenix Society bestows. It honors a member who has significantly enhanced the ability of the society to fulfill its mission of peer support, education and advocacy.
"Your decades of work have helped thousands of burn survivors and the people who love them to begin to live again," said Patrick C. Horan, president of the society. "Your dedication to the work of the Phoenix Society — from being an integral part of the board of directors to helping shape the Phoenix Society's mission statement — and your tireless work representing burn survivors in a legal capacity is appreciated and admired by the entire organization."
Halpert has been a strong advocate for survivors of severe burn injury for more than 30 years, in both his legal practice, as well as through his personal efforts with organizations such as the Phoenix Society and various burn injury prevention programs.
He was instrumental in the establishment of the Great Lakes Burn Camp in Michigan.
Prior to the Great Lakes camp, the closest option for children was Camp Courage in Minnesota.
Halpert and his wife, Mary, personally chaperoned a dozen child burn survivors to the camp in Minnesota when no medical staff were available to do so, pointed out Steve Weston, Halpert's longtime law partner.
"To me, that generous gift of time and compassion speaks volumes about Rick's character and his personal commitment to helping patients heal,” Weston said. “I'm proud to have worked beside him for almost 30 years."
Halpert will officially receive the award at the Phoenix Society's World Burn Congress, to be held in October in Rhode Island.