2008 – Stanley Foster

In by Marc Pitre

Stan Foster has been a long-time champion of the role of NGOs in child survival and for the USAID Child Survival and Grants Program in particular. Stan has made a number of seminal contributions to the scientific literature on immunizations and child survival. Further, he has been a mentor and a source of motivation and inspiration to thousands of professionals, community health workers, and community members around the world. His life’s work has improved the health and well-being of millions of people.

Stan began his distinguished international health career in 1966, working for 11 years with the Smallpox Eradication Programs in Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Somalia. He served in a leadership capacity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta from 1982 until 1994, with a major focus on the Combating Communicable Diseases Project in 13 African countries. Since 1994, he has been a professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, teaching and inspiring thousands of students.

Stan is a leader who has led by example. He has inspired many by his deep commitment to the dignity and worth of every human being, his belief in our individual responsibility to reach out and serve the least among us in need (particularly, but not only, through the tools of public health), his recognition of the latent power within communities to improve their own health, and by his support for community-based approaches to improve health.

Stan has appreciated the contributions that communities have made and can make in promoting their own health. He has a long-term dedication to community empowerment and to the support of communities for identifying their own health problems and developing their own solutions. It is this approach which he believes will bring about the greatest, sustained impact on the health and wellbeing of families around the world.

Stan has received numerous honors and awards throughout his career, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Health and Human Services in 1989, the William C. Watson, Jr., Medal of Excellence from the Centers for Disease Control in 1991, the Professor of the Year Award at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University in 1996, and the American Public Health Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in International Health in 2003.

Stan has a BA from Williams College (1955), MD from the University of Rochester (1960), and MPH from Emory University (1982).