Dr. William Schaffner

Flu Immunization Proponent Wins Top APHA Award

Dr. William Schaffner is a leader of Joint Commission Resources' Flu Vaccination Challenge, which has signed up more than 1,100 health care organizations this year.

Dr. William Schaffner, a leader of Joint Commission Resources' Flu Vaccination Challenge to encourage health care workers nationwide to be immunized against influenza, received the American Public Health Association's oldest and most prestigious award, the Sedgwick Memorial Medal for Distinguished Service in Public Health, this week.

The medal has been awarded since 1929. It honors someone who has given distinguished service to public health while working tirelessly to advance public health knowledge and practice. The presentation took place during APHA's 138th Annual Meeting and Exposition in Denver.

Schaffner chairs the Department of Preventive Medicine and is a professor of infectious diseases in the Department of Medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. APHA said he has been a Vanderbilt faculty member for more than 40 years, "becoming one of the pioneers of hospital infection control programs and conducting rigorous investigations that validated infection control as a scientific discipline." He has worked with the Tennessee Department of Health on investigations of outbreaks of communicable diseases and environmental hazards, as well as supervising the training of 21 Epidemic Intelligence Service officers, the association said.

APHA presented several other awards during the meeting, which ended Wednesday. Among them was the American Public Health Association Student Assembly Public Health Mentoring Award, given to Connie Kohler, DrPH, professor of health behavior in the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Public Health.

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