Dean Frenk receives award for public health leadership

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Harvard School of Public Health Dean Julio Frenk has received the Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence for Leadership in Inter-American Public Health from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF). He is one of five individuals from the Western Hemisphere to be honored by PAHO/PAHEF for major contributions to public health.

The awards were announced at a special event at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. on September 30, 2013. A PAHEF press release, which called Frenk “a renowned public health leader and prominent spokesperson for the universal health coverage movement,” detailed his accomplishments: He founded the Public Health Center of Investigation and the National Institute of Public Health in his native Mexico; was executive director in charge of evidence and information for policy at the World Health Organization in 1998; and, as Mexico’s minister of health from 2000 to 2006, he established Seguro Popular, an insurance program that expanded access to health care for tens of millions of previously uninsured Mexicans.

“I feel privileged to receive the prestigious Abraham Horwitz Award, which honors the legacy of one of the most important public health figures in the Americas,” Frenk said in the PAHEF press release. (Horwitz led PAHO from 1958-1975.) “I see the award not as a distinction bestowed upon my personal career, but as an acknowledgment of the accomplishments of public health professionals and researchers in Mexico.”