It hasn’t been the best of years for Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry. He’s had some health problems. He had a terrible 4th of July. He triggered a D.C. Council investigation into his ethics in steering a contract to a girlfriend.

But things’ll take a turn for the better tomorrow, when the longtime D.C. pol receives a fine distinction from the District of Columbia Primary Care Association (DCPCA). At a ceremony on Thursday at Gallaudet University, Barry will receive DCPCA’s 2009 Distinguished Public Official Award. In the words of DCPCA, the recognition celebrates Barry’s “many years as a visionary and resilient leader, deeply committed to this city and to eradicating poverty, promoting employment and neighborhood development, and improving the health and quality of life of all DC residents…”

The other headliner awardee is Alice M. Rivlin, the Brookings Institution scholar and former D.C. financial control board big shot who has been steady and strong in advocating for the District’s interests over the past decade. She’ll be getting DCPCA’s 2009 Champion of Change Award.