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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Awards Dean’s Medal to William Foege


Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Awards Dean’s Medal to William Foege


Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has awarded the Dean’s Medal—the School’s highest honor—to William Foege, MD, MPH. Foege is a celebrated epidemiologist and physician who played a leading role in many of the important public health campaigns of the past half-century, including efforts to eradicate smallpox and to control onchocerciasis (the cause of river blindness) and guinea worm.

The Dean’s Medal recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of public health. Foege was presented with the Dean’s Medal on October 5, 2012, at the Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Md., in conjunction with the annual Vaccine Day symposium held by the Johns Hopkins Vaccine Initiative.

Foege was appointed director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in 1977. In 1984, he founded the Task Force for Child Survival to accelerate childhood immunization and to address other issues important to the well-being of children. Foege has served as the executive director of The Carter Center and as senior medical advisor and senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is currently Professor Emeritus of International Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.

In addition to the Dean’s Medal, Foege has received honorary degrees from more than 10 universities, and numerous awards, including the Mary Woodard Lasker Award, the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal, the CDC Foundation Hero Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Foege attended Pacific Lutheran University and received his medical degree from the University of Washington and his master of public health degree from Harvard University.

“Bill Foege is one of the true giants of public health,” said Klag. “His work towards eradicating smallpox and stemming the tide of other communicable diseases has helped to save millions of lives worldwide. It is an honor to recognize him with the Dean’s Medal.”

Previous recipients of the Dean’s Medal include Richard Besser, MD, health and medical editor for ABC News; Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet; Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Oshinsky; David Heymann, MD, Assistant Director-General for Health Security Environment and Representative of the Director-General for Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization; Sam Thier, MD, President, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences; HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand; Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, UNICEF; Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Alfred Sommer, dean emeritus, Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Media contact: Tim Parsons, director of Public Affairs, at 410-955-7619 or