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Media Advisory

School of Public Health honors 2003 Public Health Heroes

11 March 2003

ATTENTION: Health and general assignment reporters

Contact: Sarah Yang
(510) 643-7741 scy@pa.urel.berkeley.edu

The University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health will honor the 2003 Public Health Heroes at an awards banquet in Oakland. The prestigious award is given each year to three individuals and one organization to recognize accomplishments that have positively impacted the health and lives of people regionally and worldwide.

6:30 p.m., Friday, March 14. Dinner begins at 7:15 p.m.

The Rotunda, 300 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland

The awardees this year are:
Gordon Belcourt, executive director of the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council and Area Indian Health Board, and a nationally recognized expert on the issue of alcoholism in the American Indian community. Belcourt is a prominent advocate for improving health care for American Indians.

Ela Bhatt, founder of the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), India's largest trade union with more than 218,000 members in 71 cooperatives. The union provides a way for impoverished women to escape exploitation and establish financial security for themselves and their families. Bhatt is a former member of the Indian parliament and is chair of Women's World Banking.

Lester Breslow, MD, former president of the American Public Health Association and former public health director for California. Breslow's landmark studies on the impact of lifestyle habits on longevity set the stage for the modern wellness movement. He provided supporting evidence for the U.S. Surgeon General's pivotal 1964 report linking smoking to lung cancer.

Homeless Prenatal Program, an independent, San Francisco-based, non-profit organization that provides homeless women who are pregnant or new mothers with health care, prenatal education, substance abuse treatment referrals and diverse psychosocial support. Founded in 1989, the organization serves more than 1,600 families throughout the Bay Area.

The Public Health Heroes awards spotlight the often unrecognized achievements that make a significant difference in people's everyday lives. A 16-member advisory council made up of community, industry and faculty leaders select the finalists from nominations by UC Berkeley School of Public Health faculty, advisory council members and previous honorees.


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