Bloomberg will be honored today at the 15th Annual Research!America Advocacy Awards event at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.
A successful Wall Street and media executive, Michael Bloomberg has contributed substantial financial support to create or expand public health and prevention research organizations. He helped build the public health research and training capacity of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2006, he launched the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use in partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the World Health Organization and the World Lung Foundation. In 2008 the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation joined the initiative as it began to produce meaningful progress around the world.
As mayor of New York City since 2001, Bloomberg has made public health a priority, targeting HIV, diabetes, heart disease and violence and implementing ambitious and innovative initiatives to help people live longer, healthier lives. He succeeded in passing a then-controversial smoking ban in bars and restaurants, which helped inspire cities and countries around the world to adopt similar bans. He has led successful efforts to ban trans-fats from restaurants, require chain restaurants to provide calorie counts on their menus and reduce the amount of salt in packaged foods. He has also worked to improve access to healthy foods in the city and created the most extensive network of electronic health records of any city in the country. Partly as a result of these efforts, along with his success in significantly reducing crime and keeping illegal guns off city streets, life expectancy in New York City has increased by 19 months while he has been mayor.
He uses his voice and platform to increase awareness of the importance of prevention and research. For his advocacy on behalf of public health and research, he received the 2009 Healthy Communities Leadership Award, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and 11 other influential organizations, and the 2009 Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service.
The Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to increasing the level of advocacy for medical or health research at the local, state or national level. Llura and Gordon Gund have been benefactors of the award since 2006, when Gordon Gund received an Advocacy Award for his role in advancing research for retinal degenerative diseases.
Other 2011 Research!America Advocacy Award winners are the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC); inventor and physicist Dean Kamen; U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL); acclaimed broadcast journalist Charlie Rose and Nobel Laureate J. Michael Bishop, MD.
Pictures of Bloomberg and the Advocacy Awards event will be available on March 16 at: http://www.researchamerica.org/march15.
Research!America is the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. The 2011 Advocacy Awards represent Research!America's 15th year of recognizing the accomplishments of leading advocates for medical and health research. For more information, visit www.researchamerica.org/advocacy_awards.