UC Berkeley News


 Left to right: Norman McSwain, Robert Scott, and Jeffrey Sachs

School of Public Health heroes for 2006 to be honored

| 01 March 2006

On March 17, at its 10th annual Public Health Heroes Awards ceremony, the School of Public Health will honor three individuals and one organization for their meaningful contributions to the protection and promotion of health.
The 2006 honorees are Jeffrey Sachs, Norman McSwain, Robert Scott, and the San Francisco Free Clinic.

Sachs will receive the International Hero award for his work on the United Nations Millennium Project, a multinational plan to halve global poverty and hunger by the year 2015. The Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and professor of health policy and management at Columbia University, where he directs the Earth Institute, he was named one of the 100 most-influential leaders in the world by Time magazine.

McSwain, a New Orleans physician, will receive the National Hero award as a representative of all the heroes of the Katrina disaster. As trauma director at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, he stayed on the job caring for patients during the crisis, and waded through contaminated floodwaters to find help for the thousands of patients trapped in the hospital without food or water. When the hospital was evacuated, McSwain was one of the very last to leave.

Scott will be honored for his service and delivery of care to communities of color in the East Bay, especially his work in HIV/AIDS treatment and advocacy. He co-founded the AIDS Project of the East Bay, the oldest and largest service organization in Alameda County that provides food, housing, and medical support for people with HIV. As the only physician specializing in HIV/AIDS in Oakland, he treats more than 2,000 people in his practice, and makes house calls when his patients are too sick to leave their homes.

In an era of HMOs, the San Francisco Free Clinic, Organizational Hero awardee, provides medical care to people who lack health insurance. The majority of clinic users fall below the federal poverty line, and without the clinic would not have access to basic primary and preventative care. The clinic, which accommodated nearly 7,000 patient visits in 2005, also trains young physicians and students in primary care from UCSF, the Yale School of Medicine, the University of Southern California, and other medical schools.

For tickets and information about the Public Health Heroes Awards Ceremony, visit www.publichealthheroes.org.