U.S. Peace Corps also recognized for 50 years of voluntary service

Washington, D.C., 26 September 2011 (PAHO/WHO) — Health leaders from countries throughout the Americas were honored today by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) for their contributions to improving public health and advancing health science in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The 2011 PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health were announced during the 51st Directing Council meeting of PAHO/WHO, which is being held this week in Washington. The awardees will also be honored at a special event tonight at the Organization of American States (OAS).

The PAHO-PAHEF awards are presented annually to recognize the contributions of individuals and organizations in key areas of public health including leadership and administration, health literature, veterinary public health, voluntary service, bioethics, and universal health care. .

In addition, special recognition is being given this year to the U.S. Peace Corps, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Congressman Silvestre Reyes of Texas.

This year's PAHO-PAHEF awards and winners are: 

  • Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Public Health:
    Dr. Peter Jay Hotez, Baylor College of Medicine, United States, for his outstanding contributions in the fields of global health, vaccinology, and neglected tropical disease control. He has devoted his research career to developing vaccines for parasitic diseases, including hookworm, schistosomiasis, and Chagas.
  • Manuel Velasco Suárez Award for Excellence in Bioethics:
    Dr. Laura Adriana Albarellos, Universidad de la Américas Puebla, Mexico, for a proposal presenting a legislative framework for the operation of gene banks and genetic databases in accordance with the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights and International Declaration on Human Genetic Data guidelines of UNESCO.
  • Sérgio Arouca Award for Excellence in Universal Health Care:
    Integrated Management of Adolescent and Adult Illness Program, Ministry of Health, Guyana, for its efforts to to deliver high-quality health services to improve care and treatment of illnesses in a context of limited resources.
  • Clarence H. Moore Award for Excellence for Voluntary Service:
    Women's International Network for Guatemalan Solutions (WINGS), Guatemala, for its efforts to improve the lives of Guatemalan families by providing them with education, access, and advocacy in family planning, reproductive health, and other health programs and services.
  • Pedro N. Acha Award for Excellence in Veterinary Public Health:
    Dr. Francisca Samsing, Universidad Mayor of Chile, for her undergraduate thesis on the presence of dioxin and its precursors in foods and processed products of animal origin.
  • Fred L. Soper Award for Excellence in Public Health Literature:
    Dr. Ana Lucía Lovadino de Lima, University of São Paulo, Brazil, as lead author of the article Causes of the accelerated decline in child under nutrition in Northeastern Brazil (1986-1996-2006), which analyzes data from population-based health surveys of children under 5 in northeastern Brazil.
  • PAHO Award for Administration:
    Dr. John Edward Greene, for his distinguished career as former Assistant Secretary-General for Human and Social Development at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and his role in the establishment of the new Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

In addition, PAHO/WHO will also give special recognition at tonight's award ceremony to:

  • The United States' Peace Corps in honor of its 50 years of service promoting peace and development in developing countries around the world.
  • Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) for his leadership and advocacy for improving the health and well-being of people living along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health were established in 1975 to honor dedicated professionals who have led the way in advancing health conditions in the Americas during the last century and to stimulate the growth of the rising generation of leaders working to improve health and health care in the Americas.
The PAHO Directing Council meets each year to set priorities for regional cooperation in health and to guide PAHO/WHO's technical cooperation programs in its Member States.
About PAHEF: The Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) is dedicated to improving health in the Americas through health promotion, education, and training. Founded in 1968, PAHEF is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) public charity that works with the PAHO and other strategic partners in the Americas to mobilize resources and jointly address key health, education, and training priorities. With a deep knowledge of major health concerns and strong relationships with key stakeholders in the region, PAHEF builds successful partnerships and projects that advance health in the Americas. For more information regarding PAHEF, please visit: www.pahef.org

About PAHO: The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) was established in 1902 and is the world's oldest international public health organization. It works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of the people of the hemisphere and serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO). For more information regarding PAHO/WHO, please visit: www.paho.org


Media Contacts:

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PAHEF:  Debora B. Freitas López, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel. 202-974-3727; Vanessa Holsback, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel. 202-974-3416