By Dee Dee Honaman, director of special projects and Fries Prize administrator at the CDC Foundation
Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health, which is why all of us at the CDC Foundation are so pleased that Jonathan Samet, M.D., M.S., received the 2016 Fries Prize for Improving Health last week at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Samet received this prestigious recognition for his pioneering research and decades of advocacy on the negative impacts of air pollution on health.
In presenting the award to Dr. Samet, Larry Green, DrPH, vice chair of the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation, noted that Dr. Samet has dedicated his career to protecting people from the dangers of air pollutants. His research and policy leadership have directly contributed to the avoidance of hundreds of thousands of premature deaths and hospitalizations.
Also at the award presentation, CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., presented James and Sarah Fries, founders of the Fries Prize for Improving Health, with CDC’s Champion of Prevention Award for their commitment to public health and in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Fries Prize for Improving Health.
Last week’s ceremony and lecture took place at CDC. The Fries Prize for Improving Health recognizes an individual who has made major accomplishments in health improvement with emphasis on recent contributions to health in the United States and with the general criteria of the greatest good for the greatest number. The Fries Prize for Improving Health award is $60,000.
The CDC Foundation is honored to partner with James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation to present the Fries Prize for Improving Health and the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award, a separate award presented annually in the spring.
The air we breathe connects us all. Congratulations to Dr. Samet and to Jim and Sarah Fries for this well-deserved recognition!