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“Solutions to health problems in the Americas are available, but funding their implementation will take the combined efforts of individuals, corporations and foundations working together with public health experts. The Foundation makes such partnerships available.”

Dr. Mirta Roses, Director, Pan American Health Organization

International Awards

The Manuel Velasco-Suárez Award in Bioethics

Manuel Velasco-Suárez, MD, FACS (1914-2001)

Born in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, Manuel Velasco-Suárez was active in the field of neurosurgery, neurology and bioethics. He was a physician, researcher and scholar. From 1970 to 1976, he served as governor of Chiapas. With more than 50 years dedicated to public health, he helped develop new initiatives, and was a founder of major institutions, such as the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery in Mexico, where he served as director between 1964 and 1970, the Mexican Academy of Bioethics and the Autonomous University of Chiapas.

During his lifetime, Dr. Velasco-Suárez enjoyed worldwide recognition for his achievements in medicine and in the organization of health service associations, courses and symposiums. He served as an expert advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO), and was a member of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies and various other academies of surgery and neurology in the Americas and Europe. He chaired more than 100 international medical congresses and symposiums. In 1994, he organized and was elected president of the International Congress of Bioethics in Mexico.

Dr. Velasco-Suárez was a progressive and visionary thinker who proposed innovative scenarios and preventive actions in response to health challenges. His creative and open-minded approach was embodied in his work as a member of the Organization of Physicians against Nuclear War, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.

His life was devoted to advancing the field of neurosciences in Mexico and throughout the world. He was a tireless fighter for peace, justice and health, who promoted the idea that bioethics should be a cornerstone of health care practice.