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Brazilian professor wins the 2001 Abraham Horwitz Award for Inter-American Public Health

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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. Ruy Laurenti the Abraham Horwitz Award for his outstanding contribution to improve the health in the Americas.

horwitzawrd2001-02Dr. Laurenti, a Brazilian professor of the School of Public Health of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, received the prestigious Award from Dr. Enrique Figueroa, Trustee of the Foundation, in an official ceremony during the 43rd Directing Council Meeting of the Pan American Health Organization, held in Washington DC on 27 September.

"During his 30 year professional career Dr. Laurenti has played an important role in the evolutionary process of disease classification both in Brazil and in the Region. He has been a key player in the implementation of the Brazilian Information System on Mortality and as an advisor to the National Center of Epidemiology. As a world leader in international classification of diseases, he has advised many public entities in this area and has pioneered new training alternatives for epidemiologists and researchers. Careful classification of disease is critical to ensuring the systematic collection of data on health problems, both in mortality and in morbidity. By standardizing criteria and the processing and tabulation of data, this work guarantees comparability of information across the world and through time", noted Dr. Figueroa.

horwitzawrd2001-01"I am a man of University, I have dedicated my time to teaching and research. As a teacher, I feel satisfied to have had an active participation in training and giving technical advice in the area of disease classification, and to have spearheaded and exchanged this work in the Americas and also in other regions of the world", said Dr. Laurenti in his speech of acceptance.

Among the important national and international health authorities who attended the ceremony were Dr. George A.O. Alleyne, Director of PAHO, Dr. Sara Ordoñez, Minister of Health of Colombia, Dr. Carlos Dotres Martinez, Minister of Health of Cuba, Dr. William Steiger, US Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Virgnaud Eliseo, Counselor of the Embassy of Brazil, and Ms. Jess Gersky, Executive Director of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation.

Professor Ruy Laurenti was born in Rio Claro, São Paulo. He graduated from the School of Medicine at the University of São Paulo in 1957 and in 1969 received his Doctorate Degree in Medical Sciences. He is married to Dr. Rose Laurenti and has 2 children, Ruy and Renato, and an 8-month-old granddaughter.

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 18 outstanding candidates nominated by the Ministers of Health of all the countries of Americas.

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