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PAHEF & PAHO Honored Innovative Public Health Figures Who Are Advancing Health in the Americas

Media Contact: Ashley Gatewood

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WASHINGTON, DC (September 28, 2010) – Innovative public health leaders whose work has improved health in the Americas were honored at the invitation-only PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health Event in Washington, DC, last night. Award winners were recognized before an audience of ambassadors, ministers of health, U.S. government officials, and top-level company executives. The awards are cosponsored by the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).  

The event took place concurrently with the 50th PAHO Directing Council, in which ministers of health and other high-level health authorities from throughout the Western Hemisphere meet to set regional health priorities.

Seven awardees were recognized, including: 

Dr. Carlos Monteiro, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Dr. Monteiro received the Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Health in recognition of his outstanding 30-year career in the nutrition field. His studies on the link between poverty and obesity in developing countries have shaped policies and programs around the world. 

Dr. Paulina Taboada, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Chile

Dr. Taboada received the Manuel Velasco Suárez Award for Excellence in Bioethics for her proposal “Ethical issues related to end-of-life sedation.” Her proposal focuses on five ethical criteria medical professionals, especially those in Latin America, could use when determining the use of palliative sedation for patients at the end-of-life.

Dr. Maria Fátima de Sousa, University of Brasília, Brazil

Dr. Sousa received the newly-created Sérgio Arouca Award for Excellence in Universal Health Care. She has dedicated her career to strengthening Brazil’s public health system and has strongly influenced a variety of initiatives and programs including the Community Health Agents Program, Family Health Program, and the Basic Health Care Information System. 

The Peruvian League against Cancer, Peru

The Peruvian League against Cancer received the Clarence H. Moore Award for Excellence for Voluntary Service. The League is a private nonprofit with 18 branches nationwide that served more than 143,000 patients in 2009. A major player in advocating cancer prevention and early detection in Peru, the organization relies heavily on the dedication and passion of its volunteers. 

Dr. Luisa Zanolli Moreno, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Dr. Moreno received the Pedro N. Acha Award for Excellence in Veterinary Public Health for her thesis, “Molecular epidemiology of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from different sources in Brazil.” Her thesis explored the role that this potentially fatal foodborne pathogen has on Brazil’s pork industry. 

The PAHO Award for Administration was presented to Dr. Elsa Yolanda Palou, Chief, Infectious Diseases Services, National Cardio-Pulmonary Institute, Honduras and the PAHO Champion of Health Award was presented to Fernando Javier Sendra from Argentina who is the creator of the Yo, Matías comic.

The PAHO/PAHEF event was held at the Hall of the Americas at the Organization of American States. For more than 30 years, PAHEF and PAHO have recognized and awarded individuals who have dedicated their lives to advancing public health and health care in the Americas. This is the second time PAHEF and PAHO will present the awards in an evening event.

PAHEF, renowned for supporting health-related projects in the Western Hemisphere, is currently focusing efforts on combating the alarming rise of chronic diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean, in support of PAHO’s Regional Strategy on an Integrated Approach to the Prevention and Control of Chronic Diseases Including Diet, Physical Activity, and Health. 


Founded in 1968, the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) is a public 501(c)(3) foundation dedicated to fostering public health programs in the Americas that address major health concerns. PAHEF improves the lives of people throughout the Americas by working with the public and private sectors as well as major public health research, policy, and development groups. 

PAHEF frequently collaborates with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health stimulate the growth of the next and rising generation of leaders working together to improve health and health care in the Americas. A jury of distinguished public health professionals reviews nominations and recommends a candidate for each award to the board of directors of the Foundation for final selection. The awards have the unique distinction of recognizing both established and emerging contributors to the field of public health within the Western Hemisphere. Throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the awards are recognized as a career-defining achievement that brings honor and recognition. 

The Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health are cosponsored by PAHEF and PAHO.

ABOUT PAHO: The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) was established in 1902 and is the world’s oldest 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 Americas and serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).




Media Contact:

Ashley Gatewood |  | 202-974-3727

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