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WHF is thrilled to present the WHF Advocacy Award in Cardiovascular Health to public health physician Thomas R. Frieden. Frieden serves as President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, a $225 million, five-year initiative to prevent epidemics and cardiovascular disease. He was the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from 2009 to 2017, appointed by President Barack Obama. As a commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene from 2002 to 2009 he came to some prominence for banning smoking in the city’s restaurants as well as the serving of trans fat.
From 1990 to 1992, Frieden worked as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer assigned by CDC in New York City. From 1992 to 1996, he was assistant commissioner of health and director of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of Tuberculosis Control, fostering public awareness and helping to improve city, state and federal public funding for TB control. The New York City epidemic was controlled rapidly, reducing overall incidence by nearly half and cutting multidrug-resistant tuberculosis by 80%. The city’s program became a model for tuberculosis control nationally and globally.
From 1995 to 2001, Frieden worked as a technical advisor for the World Bank, health and population offices. From 1996 to 2002, Frieden worked in India, as a medical officer for the World Health Organization on loan from the CDC. He helped the government of India implement the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program. The program’s 2008 status report estimated that the nationwide program resulted in 8 million treatments and 1.4 million lives saved. Frieden served as Commissioner of Health of the City of New York from 2002 to 2009. In May 2009, the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services named Frieden director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; positions he assumed in June 2009, from the acting head Richard E. Besser. Frieden resigned effective January 20, 2017.
Frieden started leading an initiative called “Resolve to Save Lives” to prevent cardiovascular disease and epidemics. The effort is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and housed at a nongovernmental organization in New York City.
The World Heart Awards are all about celebrating new ideas and recognising the talents and achievements of those working to combat cardiovascular disease around the world. To see the 2020 awardees, click here.