2011 Trailblazers in public health award winners

Honorees Francoise Bouchard, MPH ‘86; Trishan Panch, MPH ‘10; Hilarie Cranmer, MPH ‘04

New Awards Honor Trailblazers in Public Health

Winter 2012 ]

In 2011, HSPH awarded three new alumni awards: the Emerging Public Health Professional Award, the Leadership Award in Public Health Practice, and the Public Health Innovator Award.

Emerging Public Health Professional Award

Hilarie Cranmer, MPH ’04

For leadership in humanitarian work and commitment to teaching.

My interest in public health became clear when I worked in Kosovo for Physicians for Human Rights, shortly after the war and the return of the refugees, documenting war crimes. It was obvious I needed more of a skill set to deal with the complex milieu of health concerns, crimes, water, health structure. Eyes open! I was thrown into the thick of it. I continued to have this passion for the humanitarian field. And having an MPH is like carrying a green card when you want to do international health—it is the recognized currency of global work training. A background in public health helps you make sense of what you’re seeing, by looking at the statistics, by understanding the data and trends, and by gaining insight into the bigger picture. It’s a much grander scale than working with an individual. Whether your patient is malnourished, has measles, or has just come across a border crossing: How do you put a voice to the issue? How do you have a bigger impact on the community that this patient represents? What truly lies behind what you are seeing? This patient with measles represents a much larger breakdown of a health care system: How do we heal that larger problem?

Public Health Innovator Award

Trishan Panch, MPH ’10

For envisioning the potential of mHealth through Sana Mobile and improving health care access worldwide.

HSPH redefines what is possible. It sets a higher floor for what’s possible and raises the ceiling—in fact, it removes the ceiling. What particularly fascinates me is using creativity and science together to impact public health problems. I want to create the conditions for people in technology to say to people in public health, “I’d like to solve health problems and have an impact on the world by using my engineering skills.” And for public health professionals to say to technologists, “I have this idea, but I don’t know how to do it and I feel technology could have an impact.” There’s a lot of creativity in the public health community, but it is often not nurtured. I want to be a part of defining a new path for public health action.

Leadership Award in Public Health Practice

Françoise Bouchard, MPH ’86

For contributions to equitable delivery of care and commitment to public health in Canada.

My work in the Canadian correctional system placed me in an environment where there were conflicting values: One focused on restriction and punishment, the other on rehabilitation. As a public health professional, we need to recognize these different value sets in order to advance a health agenda. Over time, we were able to gain funding and enhance programs such as HIV, Hepatitis C, and methadone treatment, as well as mental health services. We do get into trouble when challenging the status quo. But by applying a public health and population perspective to organizations and societal issues, we create transformative value.

Adrianne Appel is a Boston-based science writer.