The 2016 Common Good Awards

The 2016 Common Good Awards were held on Thursday, October 27, 11:30am at The Hilton, Downtown Salt Lake City.

Envision Utah created the Common Good Awards to recognize people and organizations whose values and actions benefit the community as a whole. This year, our keynote speaker is Dana Suskind, MD, author of 30 Million Words: Building A Child's Brain.

View the Full Invitation


CGA recipients 01

Keynote Speaker: Dana Suskind, MD

Suskind headshot credit Gulnara Samoilova

Dr. Dana Suskind is a Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago, Director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, and Founder and Director of the Thirty Million Words® Initiative, a program dedicated to harnessing the power of language to build a child’s brain and impact his or her future. Dr. Suskind is also the author of Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain, published in September 2015.

A well-known study by Betty Hart and Todd Risley in 1995 found some children heard thirty million fewer words by their fourth birthdays than others. The children who heard more words were better prepared when they entered school. These same children had bigger vocabularies, stronger reading skills, and higher test scores when they entered the next grade. Dr. Suskind learned of this thirty million word gap while she was working as a cochlear implant surgeon at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Intrigued and alarmed by the study, she began the Thirty Million Words® Initiative in response to this thirty million word gap and is actively working to close this ever-widening achievement gap.

In her book and keynote presentations, Dr. Suskind details the critical importance of early language exposure on a developing child’s brain and encourages parents to take an active role in this development. Drawing on her own experiences with patients and the compelling research on the neuroscience of brain plasticity, Dr. Suskind explains that the most important, and astoundingly simple, thing that one can do for a child’s future success in life is to talk to him or her.

Dr. Suskind and the Thirty Million Words® Initiative have been profiled by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, NPR, The Economist, and and they have received support from The Department of Education and The Hemera Foundation. She also received the University of Chicago Medical Faculty Award for “Distinguished Leader in Program Innovation”. Dr. Suskind lives in Chicago with her family.

Proudly Sponsored By:


Exclusive Platinum Sponsor 



Gold Sponsors

Image result for intermountain healthcare Image 1430435942892Lumina Foundation



Silver Sponsors




Bronze Sponsors

AARPLarry Layton Construction Logo UtahUESP logodominion questar2 01



Envision Utah is Grateful for a Generous Matching Grant From: