Three outstanding individuals nominated by their peers received the School’s highest alumni honor at this year’s Alumni Award of Merit celebration, held on October 4, 2019 at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Lilian Cheung, SM ’75, SD ’78
A researcher, advocate, and teacher, Lilian Cheung has led numerous efforts to disseminate nutrition and fitness information through collaborations with media, including children’s prime-time programming on the Nickelodeon cable television network. Among the books that she has written and co-authored are Eat Well & Keep Moving, which helps elementary school teachers integrate nutrition and physical activity education into existing core subject areas; Be Healthy! It’s a Girl Thing: Food, Fitness, and Feeling Great!, co-authored with children’s-book author Mavis Jukes; and Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, a collaboration with Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.
Earlier in her career, Cheung founded the Cambridge Nutrition Institute, and served as the inaugural executive clinical director at Medical Nutrition Associates. At the Harvard Chan School, where she is a lecturer and director of health promotion and communication in the Department of Nutrition, her work includes participating in research initiatives focused on reducing obesity among low-income children, serving as director of the Nutrition and Fitness Program for the Center for Health Communication, and spearheading a groundbreaking symposium on childhood nutrition and physical activity. She launched the Department of Nutrition’s popular website The Nutrition Source in 2001 and is co-editorial director of the websites Obesity Prevention Source and Asian Diabetes Prevention Initiative.
Michael Egboh, MPH ’94
During his more than 25 years as a health care development specialist, advocate, and educator in his home country of Nigeria, Michael Egboh has focused on breaking cultural and religious barriers, initiating policy dialogues, and advocating for change. He was instrumental in strengthening Nigeria’s health system, providing strategic direction that led to the passage and signing into law of the National Health Act, which serves as a legal backing for the regulation, development, and management of the nation’s health system. Egboh also led pioneering programs in family planning and reproductive, maternal, and child health.
Egboh currently serves as Nigeria country director for the USAID Global Health Supply-Chain Program, which is designed to ensure availability of essential medicines at all Nigerian health facilities. He provides strategic leadership and technical direction for the program’s procurement and supply-management project. He previously served with Partnership for Transforming Health Systems, coordinating efforts to create the first national and state strategic health development plans in Nigeria. Earlier, he was the country representative for Pathfinder International in Nigeria and Ghana, and senior regional development associate for sub-Saharan Africa. In these roles, he successfully engaged with political, traditional, and religious leaders in conservative northern Nigeria to create an environment for the introduction of family-planning programs in the region.
A. Eugene Washington, SM ’78
An accomplished clinical investigator, public health researcher, and health care innovator, Eugene Washington is a leader in translating research into health policy and transforming health care to focus on patient outcomes. He has developed clinical practice guidelines, established disease prevention policies, and carried out major research in women’s and reproductive health, disparities in health outcomes, and health care quality.
Washington served in senior leadership roles at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), including executive vice chancellor, provost, and chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences. He co-founded and directed UCSF’s Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations and the UCSF’s Stanford Evidence-based Practice Center. He left UCSF to accept the appointment of vice chancellor of health sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and also serverd as the dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine, chief executive officer of the UCLA Health System, and distinguished professor of gynecology and health policy. In 2015, he was named chancellor for health affairs at Duke University and president and chief executive officer of the university’s health system.
Among numerous awards and honors, Washington was elected to the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Three Alumni Mid-Career Awards were presented to recognize achievements in various areas of public health and various stages of public health careers.
The Emerging Public Health Professional Award recognizes early-career public health achievements and contributions of graduates who received their degrees within the past 10 years and who are role models for current and future public health professionals through early-career leadership and selfless dedication in public health, the advancement of the science of public health, or demonstrated excellence and creativity in community practice of public health.
Dustin T. Duncan, SM ’07, SD ’11
Dustin Duncan has made major contributions to advancing the new field of spatial epidemiology. An associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Duncan examines the ways in which the places where we live, work, and play can be designed to promote healthful behaviors and improve health outcomes. He focuses primarily on HIV epidemiology and prevention, and sleep epidemiology and promotion, and studies minority health and health disparities. He is especially interested in sexual minority populations, particularly black gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, as well as transgender women of color.
Duncan is director of Columbia’s Spatial Epidemiology Lab and co-director of the Social and Spatial Epidemiology Unit in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School. He is co-editor of the books Neighborhoods and Health and The Social Epidemiology of Sleep.
The Public Health Innovator Award recognizes a significant contribution to public health made by an alumna or alumnus for an innovative idea or approach to public health delivery, via the science, practice, or teaching of public health.
J. Nwando Olayiwola, MPH ’05
Nwando Olayiwola is an internationally renowned family physician and public health professional who works and speaks widely on health systems redesign, women’s empowerment, technology-enhanced care, health disparities, and professional development. She founded a movement to mobilize and empower minority women professionals in health care and public health and has been a leader in harnessing telehealth to improve the lives of disenfranchised, marginalized, and vulnerable populations.
Olayiwola currently is professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Ohio State University. She previously served as the chief clinical transformation officer at RubiconMD, a leading electronic consultation company that improves access to specialty care for underserved, low-income, and marginalized patients. Previously, Olayiwola served as director of the University of California, San Francisco’s Center for Excellence in Primary Care, and as chief medical officer of Community Health Center Inc., Connecticut’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center system.
The Leadership in Public Health Practice Award recognizes a graduate who has served as an outstanding example of effective leadership in the practice of public health in the public or private sphere, demonstrated selfless service and leadership in the practice of public health, made significant contributions to the adoption or uptake of public health principles at the local, state, regional, national, or international level, and/or has shown significant leadership in a government, nongovernmental, or other public service organization.
Louise Ivers, MPH ’05
For two decades, Louise Ivers has translated her clinical expertise into public health programs that have improved the lives of some of the poorest patients in the world. Her work in Haiti includes conducting groundbreaking research in clinical HIV medicine and building an HIV treatment and prevention program in collaboration with Haitian colleagues. She also is director of a public health program to fight cholera. In addition, she led a major response to the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake, conducted innovative work on the links between food insecurity and treatment outcomes among those living with chronic infectious disease, and responded to Zika virus and diphtheria outbreaks all of which have contributed substantially to building the Haitian health system.
As executive director of the Center for Global Health at Massachusetts General Hospital, she has made an impact with her work that spreads beyond Haiti, informing public health policy at the international level.
Three outstanding individuals nominated by their peers received the School’s highest alumni honor at this year’s Alumni Award of Merit celebration, held on October 4, at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts.