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Abraham Horwitz, MD, MPH (1910-2000)

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A physician who championed health improvements in the Americas, Dr, served as director of PAHO from 1958 to 1975 and as president of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation from 1975 to 2000. Dr. Horwitz led PAHO and the Foundation through a time of far-reaching political, technological and social change. During his first years at PAHO as chief of the campaign, he laid the groundwork for eradication of smallpox in the Americas. At the request of his government, he returned later to his native Chile to organize its National Health Service. Six years later, he was elected PAHO Director.

Dr. Horwitz was successful in urging world lending agencies to increase capital investments for both preventive and curative health care programs. He had visionary plans and ideas for securing the future of health for all through persistent and disciplined research. He knew that strengthening the collection of accurate health statistics and refining their analysis would in turn improve epidemiology. He recognized that these steps were needed to bring his forward-thinking plans and ideas to fruition. Further, he had a special interest in the organization of health services. Perhaps what most characterized Dr. Horwitz's years of international collaboration and leadership was his promotion of health as an integral component of economic development.

His professional career spanned six decades, and this career has had a positive impact on health throughout the Americas. During his long career, he accumulated many titles, such as professor, public leader, humanist, scientist, and author. Additionally, Dr. Horwitz received many honors, including, but not limited to, his election for life to the Society of Scholars of the Johns Hopkins University and the Bronfman Prize of the American Public Health Association, and honorary doctorates from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chile.

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