For the third year in a row, Robert Greenwald, director of Harvard Law School’s Health Law and Policy Clinic, was awarded a Positive Leadership Award from the National Association of People with AIDS.

At last week’s awards reception in Washington D.C., Frank Oldham, president and CEO of NAPWA, quipped that this year the award should be considered a lifetime achievement award for Greenwald, a national leader in AIDS policy, in order to make room for others to receive it in the future. The Positive Leadership Award is NAPWA’s highest recognition of service to people living with HIV and AIDS, honoring elected officials and advocates who have made major contributions to improving the lives of people living with HIV. Past recipients of the award include President Barack Obama ’91 and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow said: “Robert Greenwald’s tireless work on behalf of people living with HIV exemplifies how advocacy makes a difference, especially for those who do not have easy access to health care or benefits. Robert has worked with students and collaborators to build a model for the nation, and it’s simply wonderful to know that this crucial work is being recognized once again by NAPWA. We at HLS are so lucky to work alongside with Robert; he is a treasure.”

Greenwald, a senior clinical instructor and lecturer on law and managing director of the WilmerHale Legal Services Center in Jamaica Plain, founded the Health Law and Policy Clinic in 1987 as the nation’s first law school-based AIDS law clinic. The Clinic is recognized as a national leader in efforts to improve health care access and health outcomes for low-income people, particularly people living with chronic illnesses including HIV/AIDS. Under Greenwald’s leadership, the Clinic is at the forefront of health law and policy issues in the state and nationally, and it helped design and pass 2010 federal health reform legislation that expands Medicaid coverage to more than 15 million low-income, uninsured Americans. Greenwald is a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

The Clinic and its students are involved in several major projects, including the State Healthcare Access Research Project, in which students have been traveling to southern states to document and produce reports on access to health care and support services for low-income people. Last week, they traveled to Columbia, S.C., to share their report on South Carolina with community-based partners and with the state legislature, which is in the process of making major cuts to the state budget, including for health care programs for people living with HIV and other chronic medical conditions. The report’s release and a state house press conference were covered by many TV and newspapers in South Carolina, including local television stations (see video below), and an op-ed by HLS Clinical Instructor Dorothée Alsentzer ’05 of the Health Law and Policy Clinic was published by the online edition of The State, the daily newspaper in Columbia, S.C.