UC Berkeley School of Public Health announces 2013 “public health heroes”

The University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health announced that Dr. J. Michael McGinnis, a top health official who served under four U.S. presidential administrations, and Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and former CDC director, will each receive a 17th annual Public Health Heroes Award on Thursday, March 14, 2013. The awards will be presented at a gala reception and ceremony at the Hotel Nikko San Francisco.

McGinnis will receive the Public Health Hero award in recognition of his transformative influence on public health and prevention. Satcher will receive the award for his leadership in promoting health equity, mental health, and sexual health.

“Both honorees have made lasting contributions to promoting the public’s health and have been an inspiration to many working in the field,” said Stephen Shortell, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

The Public Health Heroes honor was established in 1996 by the UC Berkeley School of Public Health to recognize innovative leaders for improving human health locally and worldwide. For information about this year's Public Health Heroes Awards ceremony, visit the Public Health Heroes website.

About Dr. J. Michael McGinnis

McGinnis is a longtime student of policy, epidemiology, population health, and health care, and has led field development work from posts in various arenas—government, philanthropy, research, and international organizations. Since 2005, he has been senior scholar at the Institute of Medicine (IOM). There he initiated and serves as executive director of the IOM Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care and IOM’s Innovation Collaboratives for multi-sector initiatives on health care transformation. From 1999 to 2005, he served as senior vice president and founding director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Group. Previously, in a tenure unusual for political and policy posts, he served continuously through the Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton Administrations as a key official for disease prevention and health promotion policy. McGinnis conceived and shepherded several longstanding national initiatives, including the Healthy People process establishing decennial national health goals and objectives, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the Ten Essential Services of Public Health. He has published widely on the fundamental determinants of health and held university appointments at George Washington, Princeton, and Duke. McGinnis is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, the UCLA School of Medicine, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and was the graduating commencement speaker at each.

About Dr. David Satcher

Satcher is director of The Satcher Health Leadership Institute, which was established in 2006 at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. The Institute’s mission is to develop a diverse group of public health leaders, foster and support leadership strategies, and influence policies toward the reduction and ultimate elimination of disparities in health. Satcher served as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States and Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services from 1998 to 2002.  In these capacities, he led the department’s effort to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health, which was incorporated as one of the two major goals of Healthy People 2010. From 1993 to 1998, he served as director of the CDC and administrator of the Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Satcher has held top leadership positions at the Charles R. Drew University for Medicine and Science, Meharry Medical College, and the Morehouse School of Medicine.  He was director of the National Center for Primary Care at the Morehouse School of Medicine from 2002 to 2004. He presently holds the school’s Poussaint-Satcher-Cosby Chair in Mental Health. Satcher graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1963 and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  He holds MD and PhD degrees from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American College of Physicians.  He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, the 100 Black Men of Atlanta and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

About the Public Health Hero Award

The Public Health Hero award was founded to honor pioneers working toward improved health for all and to raise awareness of the field of public health. The 60 previous recipients of UC Berkeley Public Health Hero award have included actor Rob Reiner, who cofounded the I Am Your Child Foundation; Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland; and Dr. Paul Farmer, founding director of Partners in Health.

About the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health

Building on a campus tradition of preeminent interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary scholarship, education, and public engagement that challenges conventional thinking, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health develops diverse leaders equipped to help solve the health challenges of the 21st century and beyond. The school’s mission is to conduct world class, rigorous research; apply knowledge to prevent disease and injury and promote the health of individuals and communities in California, the United States and the world; develop diverse leaders for professional and research careers through undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs; and enhance the knowledge and skills of the public health workforce through continuing education and technical assistance.

By Michael S. Broder