Leonard Duhl of the United States wins the 2002 Abraham Horwitz Award for International HealthLeadership

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The Pan American Health and Education Foundation, a US-based non-profit partner of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) awarded Dr. Leonard Duhl the Abraham Horwitz Award for his outstanding contribution to improve the health in the Americas.

duhl2Dr. Duhl, a US citizen professor of Public Health and City Planning at the University of California, received the prestigious Award from Mr. Matthew McHugh, Trustee of the Foundation, in an official ceremony during the Pan American Sanitary Conference of the Pan American Health Organization, held in Washington DC on 25 September.

"Dr. Duhl has changed radically our thinking about urban health. As early as 1952, he wrote about the concept of sick cities. His 1964 publication "The Urban Condition" provided the conceptual and strategic frame for the global movement that today is known as Healthy Cities. Considered to be the intellectual father of this healthy city concept, he with others in the field health promotion, prepared the background papers for the successful launching of the WHO Healthy Cities Project in Europe. He also did pioneering work associating urban design with mental health", noted Mr. McHugh.

duhl1Dr. Duhl, together with other professionals in the area of health promotion, prepared the background papers for the successful launching of the WHO Healthy Cities Project in Europe. Since then, healthy city projects have started in almost all countries of the Americas and in many countries of the world, always with Dr. Duhl's guidance. For more than 30 years he has been a true inspiration to all professionals working in the areas of health promotion and environmental health.

During his speech of acceptance, Dr. Duhl said: "Community can be defined in many ways. However, the focus upon individuals' and institutions' ability to deal with life problems to me is one of our most important issues. The current language, is "the building of personal and social capital". Healthy Cities is not a program or project in the conventional sense. Rather, it is a set of individualized processes for communities and peoples' to learn how to improve their quality of life".

Among the important national and international health authorities who attended the ceremony were Dr. George Alleyne, Director of PAHO; Dr. Patricio Jarimska, Minister of Health of Ecuador and President of the Conference; Dr. David Brandling-Bennett, PAHO Deputy Director, Ms. Mary Lou Valdez, Department of Health and Human Services; and Ms. Jess Gersky, Executive Director of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation.

Dr. Leonard Duhl was born in New York. He graduated from the Columbia University in 1945 and received a doctoral degree from the Albany Medical College in 1948. He is married to Mrs. Lisa Duhl, and they have 5 children, Susan, Pamela, Aurora, Nina and David, and 7 grandchildren.

The Abraham Horwitz Award is intended to stimulate excellence and leadership in health among persons who work in the Americas and who produce ideas and work primarily of regional significance. Candidates must have an outstanding lifetime career in medicine or public health demonstrating impact on the lives and health of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. The Award is a tribute to another outstanding regional leader, Dr. Abraham Horwitz, a Chilean doctor who served as the director of PAHO for four terms and the President of our Foundation for 25 years.

The Horwitz award consists of a certificate and a cash prize of US$5000. The winner is selected by a distinguished jury, consisting of representatives of PAHO and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation. This year the winner was selected from 36 outstanding candidates nominated by the Ministers of Health of all the countries of Americas.

Download Dr. Leonard Duhl's speech (PDF)

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Leonard Duhl of the United States
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