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Dr. Peter Jay Hotez, Baylor College of Medicine, United States

PAHEF and PAHO Present the 2011 Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Public Health

» Award Overview
» Biography
» Past Winners and Recognition

_dsc00013WASHINGTON, DC (September 27, 2011) – Last night, the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) jointly presented the Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Public Health to Dr. Peter Jay Hotez. The award recognized Dr. Hotez’s outstanding contribution to health in the Americas in the fields of global health, vaccinology, and neglected tropical disease control. It was presented by Dr. Benjamin Caballero, chair of the PAHEF board of directors, and Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, PAHO director, at a special event in Washington, DC.


Dr. Hotez is a leading figure in the field of public health and neglected tropical diseases. As the president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development, he leads a product development partnership to develop and test new vaccines to combat hookworm, schistosomiasis, and Chagas disease. He is also the co-founder of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, which provides access to essential medicines for millions of people worldwide. Dr. Hotez has authored more than 240 original papers, as well as authored or edited 10 books, including the acclaimed Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases (ASM Press, 2008).

“This award is a wonderful recognition of our efforts to address the plight of the poorest people in the Americas. Today 100 million people in the Latin American and the Caribbean region live on less than $2 per day, and almost all of them suffer from one or more neglected diseases. neglected tropical diseases represent a stealth cause of poverty, and we are working tirelessly to provide access to essential medicines for these conditions and simultaneously develop a new generation of antipoverty vaccines to eliminate them as public health problems,” said Dr. Hotez.

Edward L. Kadunc, president of PAHEF, remarked, “Dr. Hotez has made extraordinary advances to neglected tropical diseases not only in the Americas but worldwide. His work to combat diseases such as hookworm, schistosomiasis, and Chagas have had a profound influence on policies and programs around the world and have greatly enhanced our understanding of this critical public health problem.”

Since 1975, the Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Public Health recognizes leadership that has changed lives and improved health of the people of the Americas. The award was created to honor the lifetime accomplishments of Dr. Abraham Horwitz, former PAHO director and later PAHEF president. The award is one of six in the PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health Program, which was established in 1975.

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:

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:

About the Awards: The PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health, established in 1975, honor dedicated professionals who led the way in advancing health conditions in the Americas during the last century. The awards stimulate the growth of the next and rising generation of leaders working together to improve health and health care in the Americas. For each award, a jury of distinguished public health professionals is convened to review the nominations and recommend a winning candidate to the board of directors of PAHEF for approval.

Watch a video of the event here

Watch the interview with Dr. Peter Jay Hotez here 

A Sample of Recent PAHEF Projects in the Region