Henry Betts (right) and Monika raised money through individual teams participating in Team Momentum, the MDA’s endurance fundraising program. Their fundraising team won top honors as the most productive MDA fundraising group in America.
Betts was an innovator in medical rehabilitation. His innovations transformed how doctors treated their patients, shifting global attitudes toward disability and advocating for initiatives like the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Early Life and Education
At New Rochelle, N.Y.’s one-room schoolhouse he was taught by a woman living with disabilities; these experiences and those of family members inspired him to become a physician and work with those living with disability.
Betts earned his Bachelor’s degree at Princeton University and his medical degree from the University of Virginia Medical School, before serving his internship and two-year commitment in the Marine Corps before returning home for residency training with Howard Rusk – considered to be one of the pioneers of rehabilitation medicine.
He became a tireless champion for disabled individuals, from organizing protests to lobbying city hall on accessibility issues like curb cuts and higher parking meter rates. Additionally, he advocated for helmet and seat-belt laws, reduced speed limits, and an increase in drinking age.
Betts has shown incredible poise given his youth and size since joining the minor leagues for the first time this season. His impactful play has set off alarm bells with fans all across baseball; his promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket can only come sooner or later.
Leader, teacher and caring citizen. His life’s work is advocating for people with disabilities; he founded the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), one of the nation’s leading centers in research, education, training and service provision to those living with disabilities.
Henry and Bloom both believe it would have been irresponsible of Boston to extend Betts when they acquired younger talent like Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and David Price during this offseason. Doing so would have cost over $100 million in one season alone while creating little value until at least three years from now.
Achievement and Honors
In 1994 he received the prestigious Henry B. Betts Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine to honor him for his contributions to rehabilitation research. In addition, he founded and served as first chairman for American Association of People with Disabilities.
He tirelessly championed the rights of those with disabilities and worked to reduce stigmas surrounding their condition. Additionally, he supported the Americans with Disabilities Act and strongly promoted disability research.
He was also a passionate sports fan and dedicated family man; meeting his wife at a dance, they soon fell in love, had one daughter together, and in 2012 were honored by receiving the Viscardi Center Public Service Award.
At the forefront of civic leadership was William “Billy” Wilson who advocated for helmet and seat-belt laws, reduced speed limits and raising of drinking age to 21. Additionally he supported independent living movements which eventually resulted in passage of Americans with Disabilities Act.
At Bristo’s clinics, not only did he offer medical expertise; he also took pride in offering personal touch. “Sending notes of congratulations or calling when having any question on movement issues came up; as well as encouraging legislators to help if needed”, were all ways that helped people reenter society and thrive again, claims Bristo.
Her father was an influential connector who shared a passion for rehabilitation. His aim was to ensure that those living with disabilities would one day be seen as citizens instead of just patients, she notes.
Henry is the founder and chairman of Fenway Sports Group, which holds an 80% interest in New England Sports Network (which also airs NHL’s Boston Bruins), the Boston Red Sox baseball club, real estate properties around Fenway Park as well as English soccer club Liverpool FC. Henry also owns a minority stake in Cleveland Indians.
He and Tom Werner purchased the Red Sox from the Yawkey Trust in 2001, ending the Curse of the Bambino in the process. Since then, the team has gone on to win three World Series and boast an astounding record valuation of $3.2 billion according to Forbes.
Sources have reported that the Henrys are currently engaged in negotiations to purchase the Washington Commanders, an NFL team put up for sale by Dan Snyder.