Last night the University of California, Berkeley hosted the 12th Annual Public Health Heroes Awards Ceremony in San Francisco. The goal of the Public Health Heroes honor is to broaden awareness and understanding of the public health field by recognizing individuals and organizations for their contributions to promoting and protecting the health of the human population. Past recipients include our own Dr. Larry Brilliant. Dr. Mark Smolinski, Predict and Prevent Initiative Director, started off the night by handing the first award to Nancy Aossey, who accepted the award on behalf of the International Medical Corps.
International Medical Corps (IMC) is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs. Mark expressed gratitude to IMC for sharing their wisdom and advice while we were creating InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases, and Disasters) in the early days of Google.org. The other heroes recognized were Donald P. Francis, for his leadership in the eradication of smallpox, the discovery of HIV, and the control of Ebola hemorrhagic fever; David A. Kessler, for his leadership and courage in challenging the U.S. tobacco industry; and Barbara Staggers for her leadership in promoting adolescent health, particularly among high-risk, urban, and minority youth.