Research!America Honors “Mr. Health”
During a dedication ceremony for the new Paul G. Rogers conference room at Research!America’s new office on December 8, many fellow research advocates, friends and family members paid tribute to the former Research!America chair, describing his tremendous support and unshakeable dedication to health research.
“He made a difference in my life in a way that few people have,” said Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley. “I treasure his memory every day.”
Rogers was elected to Congress in 1955 and served until 1979. During his time as a Florida representative, he rose through the ranks to chair the House Subcommittee on Health and the Environment. His long list of legislative successes included the Clean Air Act, the Community Health Centers Act and the National Cancer Act.
The Honorable Dan Mica, who succeeded Rogers in Congress, admired Rogers’ ability to work across the political aisle to get things done.
“He liked to help people,” Mica said. “That’s just the kind of person he was.”
Romney Rogers, a nephew of Paul Rogers, recalled how his uncle’s generosity ran the gamut from memorable holiday gifts to lifelong mentorship. He said having Rogers as both a mentor and a “cool” uncle who gave valuable advice continues to have a positive impact on his life.
Rogers, who was known as “Mr. Health” by his colleagues, became chair of Research!America in 1996, a role he held until his passing in 2005. His work as an advocate earned him many awards including the Albert Lasker Award for Public Service, the American Cancer Society Distinguished Service Award and Research!America’s Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy. Rogers’ daughter Laing maintains his legacy as a member of Research!America’s board.
Throughout his career, Rogers often said, “Without research, there is no hope,” a quote that is now emblazoned along the glass wall of the conference room named in his honor.
“Some of his accomplishments are at risk right now but there are people who will step up, and we are among them,” Woolley said. “We’ll make sure we don’t squander the progress we’ve already made. And, in fact, we’ll build on it.”
The Paul G. Rogers conference room was made possible by a gift from the Rogers Family Foundation. To see photos from the dedication, visit https://flic.kr/s/aHskJgZywG.
Izzy Okparanta is the Senior Communications Specialist at Research!America.