Press Contacts

Sebastián Oliel
  -Tel. 202 974 3459
oliels@paho.org
Ashley Baldwin
  -Tel. 202 974 3872
baldwinash@paho.org
Leticia Linn
-Tel. 202 974 3440
linnl@paho.org

Public Health Hero

The Pan American Health Organization over the years has recognized Public Health Heroes for their invaluable contributions to public health in the Americas. They come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and fields of work and share one common goal: improving the health and well-being of the peoples of the Western Hemisphere. These Public Health Heroes represent a select few among the countless heroes behind the ongoing struggles and remarkable achievements in the quest for a healthy Americas.

Dr. Tabaré Vázquez

Dr. Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay, known for his work pioneering tobacco control measures, was named a Public Health Hero of the Americas on September 24, 2018.

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Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis

Dr. Marceline Dahl-Regis, known for her work in advancing and verifying regional disease elimination efforts, was named a Public Health Hero of the Americas May 2, 2018 ).

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Dr. David Tejada de Rivero

Dr. Tejada de Rivero has served in important positions in Peru and at the international level. He served as Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), in Geneva.

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Dr. Ciro de Quadros

Dr. Ciro de Quadros was an epidemiologist and central figure in the eradication of polio from Latin America. He was honored as a Public Health Hero of the Americas on 2 May 2014.

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Dr. José Roberto Ferreira

Brazilian physician José Roberto Ferreira was honored for his invaluable contributions to public health in the Hemisphere. His 50-year-plus career included positions in Brazil and a stint in PAHO.

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Dr. Jacinto Convit

Dr. Jacinto Convit of Venezuela is a renowned expert in leprosy and tropical diseases whose work resulted in the development of an experimental model for leprosy.

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Dr. Myrna Cunningham

During her outstanding professional career, Dr. Cunningham worked at the local, national, and international levels to advocate for Human Rights, the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and women's health.

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Dr. Donald A. Henderson

Dr. Donald A. Henderson directed the global smallpox eradication campaign for the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1966 to 1977 and was instrumental in initiating WHO's global immunization program.

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Dr. Jose Jordan

Dr. Jordan's research and work with children in Cuba has influenced pediatric medicine both inside and outside Cuba for almost 70 years now. He was an expert in nutrition, growth and development.

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Dr. María Isabel Rodríguez

Dr. María Isabel Rodríguez's commitment and tireless struggle for the right to health, and for equity, women's rights, and justice have made her a Public Health Hero of the Americas.

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The Honorable Marc Lalonde

The Honorable Marc Lalonde of Canada is an attorney who served as Minister of Health and Welfare. He wrote public policy for his country that influenced the hemisphere for decades.

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Dr. Jose Jordan

Dr. Edgar Mohs of Costa Rica is a former Minister of Health of Costa Rica. Dr. Mohs has been involved in scientific research groups on infectious diseases in Mexico, United States of America and Sweden.

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Dr. Elsa Moreno

Dr. Elsa Moreno of Argentina is a world-renowned expert in Maternal and Child Health. She has occupied important positions in Argentina, and was Director of the Maternal and Child Health Program at PAHO.

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Dr. Zilda Arns Neumann

Dr. Zilda Arns Neumann was a pediatrician, public health worker, and founder and director of the Pastoral da Criança, a program that works in the areas of health, nutrition, community education, and violence prevention in Brazil.

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Dr. Ruth Puffer

Dr. Ruth Puffer of the USA was a biostatistician who served as Chief of the Department of Health Statistics at PAHO, where she was the prime mover behind the Inter-American Investigation of Childhood Mortality.

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Dr. Carlos Canseco González

Dr. Canseco, of Mexico, practiced medicine in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and collaborated with the Rotary International Association, in a plan to immunize children against polio.

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Sir Kenneth Livingston Standard

The Barbados physician was the founding president of the Caribbean Public Health Association. He influenced public health by exploring alternatives in the delivery of care within the constraints of limited resources.

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