On October 23rd the New York Awards Gala, organized by the New York SUMMIT 2018 saw the Canis Majoris Foundation receive the Prize for the Best Foundation Project. To collect the award were Gonzalo Casas Pessino, President of the Foundation and Dr. Raúl Alelú-Paz, CEO of the Foundation and Director of the Elena Pessino Gómez del Campo Neuroscience Laboratory.
Days after returning from New York City, Dr. Raúl Alelú tells us about what it has been like to receive such an award:
What has receiving the NY SUMMIT 2018 Award meant for the Foundation?
For a Foundation like ours, with only 7 years behind us, receiving an international award that recognizes the work we do is undoubtedly a very important milestone that encourages us to continue working in the field of functional diversity, risk of psychosocial exclusion and advanced biomedical research. When we started this project, we set out to do things in a very different way than what had traditionally been done and, in my opinion, we are now beginning to reap the rewards.
What is the Foundation Project for which the Canis Majoris Foundation has been awarded?
The project is based on understanding (and addressing) functional diversity and the risk of psychosocial exclusion from an integrative, multi-axial perspective, which allows complex phenomena to be successfully addressed. I will give an example: if a person with a diagnosis of severe mental disorder comes to our Foundation through the various agreements we have signed with other public and private entities, they will have a range of activities covering three major areas of action at their disposal . First, Clinical Assistance through our Animal Assisted Therapy programs. Secondly, Training, through the development of courses directed not only to the user and relatives but to the professionals who work with them on a day-to-day basis. And, finally, they will have the guarantee that we are investigating for the cure of their disease in the Elena Pessino Gómez del Campo Neuroscience Laboratory, which has outstanding advisors such as Professor Giacomo Rizzolatti. In short, we want to do things in a different way addressing the whole phenomenon from different disciplines. This is what makes Canis Majoris different, to which I should add that we execute all these programs with a very low budget in comparison with other entities, as we are always following criteria of effectiveness and efficiency.
How do you value the initiative to grant this type of award?
I think it is essential to highlight the Hispanic talent in the world; These awards aim to highlight the work carried out throughout the year, highlighting the excellence of leaders, organizations and companies on the international scene. That is why for us it has been a very important recognition and one that has placed us on the international scene.
What would you highlight from the experience?
I would highlight practically everything. To be able to go to New York City to collect an international award, to be recognized as the best research project in the foundational field, to exchange opinions and future projects with other national and international entities, to live together and to continue forming as a work team, etc. There have been many things in such a short time and our intention now is to continue working for all those people who really need us. In short, the award from the NY Summit 2018 has been an extraordinary experience for us.