Community Health Law Project names annual award honorees

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The Community Health Law Project, which is based in South Orange, has named the 32nd annual Ann Klein Advocate Awards and 2019 Michael D. Lione Accessibility Award honorees to be presented Thursday, Oct. 24, at The Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange. CJLP is a nonprofit, legal aid society founded in 1976, with a dedication to serving the legal needs of persons with disabilities throughout New Jersey. 

The Ann Klein Advocate Awards was created in 1988 to honor Ann Klein, former commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, who was instrumental in establishing a community-based system of care for people with mental and physical disabilities. The award recognizes honorees for the outstanding contributions they have made in improving the lives of people living with disabilities. The 2019 honorees are Phillip Lubitz, associate director of the New Jersey chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness; The Miracle Project at the Mayo Performing Arts Center; Gina M. Plotino, vice president of programs  and operations at Bergen County’s United Way; Rabbi Dr. Francine Reibman, co-founder and co-chairwoman of Children’s Emergency Medical Fund of New Jersey; and Peter Scerbo, the retired executive director of CBHCare.

The Michael D. Lione Accessibility Award was established in 2013 in memory of the long-time CHLP board member and former chairman. This award is presented to an individual or entity that has performed exemplary work as an advocate for accessibility on behalf of persons living with disabilities. The 2019 recipient is Michael M. Dribbon, vice president of business development, and chief innovation and research officer at Children’s Specialized Hospital & Center for Discovery.

In addition, this year CHLP will give Special Recognition Awards to David Lazarus, retired director of litigation, and David Popiel, retired senior managing attorney, for their more than three decades of policy, litigation and legislation successes on behalf of persons living with disabilities.

For more information, visit or call 973-275-1175.