Dr. José Roberto Ferreira

Public Health Heroes

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) awarded the highest distinction the Hero of Public Health Award, to Dr. José Roberto Ferreira, a Brazilian physician, for his invaluable contributions to public health in the hemisphere on August 27, 2010 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

Dr Ferreira
Dr. José Roberto Ferreira

Over the years, the Public Health Hero Award has been conferred on distinguished individuals who have done outstanding work to improve the health and well-being of the peoples of the Americas

During an official ceremony at the headquarters of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), attended by national officials from the health sector and other distinguished guests, Dr. Roses Periago recognized Dr. Ferreira for his excellent professional career with over 50 years of fruitful efforts in the service of public health. 

Dr. Ferreira was a surgeon during his professional life, working in that capacity until 1966. During that time, he published a widely used textbook on the pre- and post- operative situation of patients. In Brazil, he held positions in the health sector related to planning, organization, and administration in medical education. During his tenure, major medical schools and hospitals were opened in the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Londrina, Campos, Niteroi, and Brasilia.

Dr. Ferreira began his international career in 1969, when he joined PAHO. There, he coordinated the Department of Human Resources Development, launching public health programs that emphasized aspects related to development, research coordination, and international technical cooperation with the Member States of the Region. In 1974, he accompanied the first mission of the World Health Organization to visit and learn about the health services system in the People's Republic of China. 
Dr. Ferreira received numerous national and international awards during his professional career, among them the Oswaldo Cruz Gold Medal of the Ministry of Health of Brazil and honorary professorships at the following academic institutions: the Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University; the FIOCRUZ National School of Public Health; the University of Sucre, Bolivia; and the University of Brasilia. 
In his fruitful career as a teacher and researcher, Dr. Ferreira directed the magazine "Educación Médica y Salud" for 20 years. He participated in more than 300 international events and published 180 scientific and technical papers.

Dr. Ferreira joined a distinguished roster of individuals --men and women who worked or continue working to promote Health in the Americas. 

Dr. José Roberto Ferreira died on 12 December 2019 in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. 

Dr. Mirta Roses, FIOCRUZ President Dr. Paulo Gadelha, Dr. José Roberto Ferreira and Dr. José Gomes Temporão, Brazilian Minister of Health. (Photos Peter Ilicciev/FIOCRUZ
Dr. Mirta Roses, FIOCRUZ President Dr. Paulo Gadelha, Dr. José Roberto Ferreira and Dr. José Gomes Temporão, Brazilian Minister of Health. (Photos Peter Ilicciev/FIOCRUZ)

Links of interest: 

Message from Dr. José Roberto Ferreira during the 25th. Anniversary, PAHO International Public Health Program, 2010. (In Spanish)

Tribute to Dr. José Roberto Ferreira - Nucleus of Studies on Bioethics and Diplomacy in Health, 2020. (In Portuguese)

Public Health Hero www.paho.org/en/public-health-heroes