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“Patients don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Dr. Antonia Novello, Commissioner of Health for the State of New York. U.S. Surgeon General (1990-1993)

International Awards

The Pedro N. Acha Award
for Veterinary Public Health

"I would like to put forth the notion that the veterinary profession should serve humanity. Those who are responsible for the professional education in the veterinary sciences should grasp this idea and begin to guide our training centers to the three principal services benefiting humankind: agriculture, biology and public health. I believe that if we were to do any less, we would fail in our mission…" —Pedro Acha, DVM

The health of human beings is tied to the health of animals, both domestic and wild, in many ways. Certain diseases can be transmitted, directly or indirectly. Infections and parasitic diseases of livestock may kill the animals outright, may necessitate their destruction or may reduce the survivors' production of meat or milk, all of which can in turn reduce the food supply available to humans. Such diseases are also an obstacle to international trade and may become a serious financial drain on the economy of a community or country - an impact which may have broad repercussions for health in a society.

The Pedro N. Acha Award for Veterinary Public Health, created in 1993, is one of five awards presented by the Pan American Health and Education Foundation through its Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health Program, a partnership between the Foundation and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Recognizing the importance of veterinary public health to the peoples of the Americas and the economies of the countries, the Pan American Health and Education Foundation established the Pedro N. Acha Award for Veterinary Public Health. This award recognizes outstanding research based on a thesis written by an undergraduate student in veterinary public health within the last three years. It also aims to encourage dedication to the highest standards of study and professionalism.

A distinguished jury of PAHO veterinary public health officials reviews nominations, and recommends a research thesis to the board of trustees of the Foundation for final selection.

The award is presented to the winning undergraduate student at a ceremony co-sponsored by the PAHO/WHO office in the winner's country and the Ministry of Health or other appropriate national institution. The awardee receives US$1,500 and a certificate of merit.