As part of HDSA’s year-long commemoration of 50 years of service to the Huntington’s Disease community, we are pleased to announce our expansion of national awards to include both our HDSA Chapter of the Year and our HDSA Affiliate of the Year.

Each year the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) honors individuals who have made notable contributions to the HD community with national awards while also celebrating the outstanding work accomplished by volunteers working together to achieve a goal with our prestigious Chapter and Affiliate awards.

All honorees of the above awards will be announced at the Annual HDSA Convention Gala on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA. Additional awards that recognize accomplishments in specific areas of leadership for Chapters and Affiliates will be presented at HDSA’s annual Leadership Day on Thursday, June 7.

For national awards, please take some time to consider the special achievements of any individual(s) in your HDSA Chapter or Affiliate, HDSA Center of Excellence, or community such as a support group leader or advocate who you think may be deserving of national recognition.

For recognition as the HDSA Chapter and Affiliate of the Year, consider the work of your Chapter or Affiliate. Has your Chapter/Affiliate provided a combination of outstanding education, advocacy, fund raising and family services while also be a good citizen in the community?  Please submit nominations for the great work that you’re seeing!

This year, the nomination form is available online . Please complete an online nomination for each outstanding individual you would like to have considered for a national award this year and an application if you would like your Chapter or Affiliate to be considered for HDSA’s highest community recognition.

You may nominate more than one person or Chapter/Affiliate as long as each candidate has a separate nomination submission.   Nominations must be submitted no later than May 14, 2018.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to access nomination form



HDSA Person of the Year Award
The HDSA Person of the Year is our most prestigious award. The person who receives this honor is an extraordinary individual who, though affected by HD, does not let their diagnosis or disabilities prevent them from serving as a shining example of how to live positively with a chronic disease.

The HDSA Person of the Year is an advocate, a voice for HD, and a leader who faces life with courage, dignity and a fighting spirit that inspires others who are affected by HD.


Marjorie Guthrie Award
Marjorie Guthrie embodied the “can do” spirit that has made HDSA a pivotal organization in the fight against HD. She devoted her life to improving the lives of those affected by HD through legislative, community and individual action long before the gene that causes HD was discovered.

This award recognizes a member of the HD community who has, through their compassionate leadership, improved the lives of all persons living with HD either in their community or nationally.


Woody Guthrie Advocacy Award
Woody Guthrie was a social activist and storyteller who wove these two talents into a tapestry of social comment. His songs championed the ordinary folk whose lives were often embroiled in the turmoil of the times. He gave his voice so those who had none would be heard. Huntington’s disease may have robbed Woody Guthrie of his voice, but his spirit lives on in the words of many writers who were touched by his presence, his writing or his music.

This award recognizes an individual or group who embody the spirit to Woody Guthrie – who have given their voice to the fight against Huntington’s disease through their social activism, their efforts to bring awareness and their commitment to making a difference for HD families each and every day.


HD Researcher of the Year Award
In 1979, Marjorie Guthrie convinced both a President and a nation that something had to be “done” about HD and thus the very first dollars for research into neurodegenerative disease were allocated by Congress. Those dollars were critical to bringing awareness to a set of diseases that were misdiagnosed and misunderstood by both the medical profession and the families affected by them. Today, persons affected by HD are no longer “hopeless” and “helpless” because of the scientific understanding that was inspired by HDSA’s founder.

The HD Research Award is given to an individual, or group, who has increased our understanding of the biological causes of HD, whether in the lab or at the patient’s bedside, and in so doing, has brought us closer to finding effective treatments and ultimately a cure for this deadly disease.


HDSA Excellence in Care Award
HDSA is committed to ensuring that expert care is readily available for HD families until a cure is found.   Care wears many faces and can be found in many different venues such as our HDSA Centers of Excellence, our HDSA social workers, and by other staff who help to problem solve the many challenges that face our families daily.

The HDSA Excellence in Care Award is our opportunity to celebrate and honor a care professional or team of professionals, who personify the word “care” through compassion, devotion to our families affected by HD and commitment to our cause.


HDSA Youth/JHD Award
Growing up in an HD family brings challenges that other youth and young adults seldom face. Many are asked to grow up quickly and assume responsibility for their parent or sibling. Others may be affected by the juvenile form of HD and experience different challenges and losses as they navigate their special path.

No matter what role the youth or young adult may play in their HD family, each has chosen to use their time, energy and commitment to increasing awareness of HD by bringing this devastating disease into their classroom, school and community through fundraising, advocacy and education efforts.

Our youth and young adults are our leaders of tomorrow, and the HDSA Youth/JHD Award recognizes an individual who is at-risk, gene-positive or who has juvenile HD, is between the ages of 9 – 29, and who has, through their actions, demonstrated leadership and commitment to the HD community.


HDSA Chapter of the Year
To compete for this award, a chapter must have a strong volunteer/staff partnership, a successful, balanced fundraising program, outstanding community education and outreach programs, be active advocates on both a national and community level, and be consummate communicators. The HDSA Chapter of the Year follows HDSA best practices in nominating and Board Development while adhering to the mission and bylaws of HDSA.


HDSA Affiliate of the Year
Similar to the Chapter of the Year, the HDSA Affiliate of the Year must have a strong volunteer/staff relationship, a successful and balanced fundraising program, outstanding community education and outreach programs, be active advocates nationally and locally and excel in communicating the values of HDSA to the public. The HDSA Affiliate of the Year follows HDSA’s best practices in nominating and Board Development, adheres to the mission and bylaws of HDSA while promoting both fiscal and volunteer growth.