Robert S. Lawrence, MD, a founding member of PHR and the Chair of PHR’s Board of Directors, has been awarded the Sedgwick Memorial Medal at the 137th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA). The medal, considered the APHA’s most prestigious award, was presented at a ceremony in Philadelphia on November 10, 2009. The Medal recognizes Dr. Lawrence as
an individual who has demonstrated a distinguished record of service to public health while tirelessly working to advance public health knowledge and practice.
Upon learning of the award, PHR’s CEO, Frank Donaghue, said:
Physicians for Human Rights warmly congratulates and applauds our Board Chair, Robert Lawrence, MD, the recipient of one of the highest honors bestowed by the APHA. The 2009 Sedgwick Memorial Medal—a true accolade of the profession—signals colleagues’ recognition of Dr. Lawrence’s exemplary accomplishments in the field of public health. His leadership has helped PHR bring a human rights perspective to vital issues such as fighting global AIDS, strengthening the health workforce, addressing inequities faced by women and children, and promoting accountability and governance in health systems.
The Sedgwick Medal honors Dr. Lawrence’s long and remarkable career in public service. As Professor and Director of the Center for a Livable Future at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Lawrence has worked to eliminate racial and income-based disparities in health-care access across the United States. Educated at Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Lawrence has taught at top US universities, served as a director of health sciences at the Rockefeller Foundation and has been a principal force for establishment of human rights programs in schools of public health. He is a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine and is a past recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Prize.Dr. Lawrence co-founded PHR, and has participated in human rights investigations with PHR and other organizations in countries including Chile, the former Czechoslovakia, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Kosovo, the Philippines, and South Korea and South Africa.