LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Identifying the way HIV is transmitted, playing a leading role in California's anti-tobacco campaign, and establishing a clear link between air pollutants and birth defects are just a few of the major public health milestones the UCLA School of Public Health celebrated during its 50th anniversary gala dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 2, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Century City.
Created as an independent school in 1961 by the UC Regents, the UCLA School of Public Health has been at the forefront of key public health advances over the last 50 years, conducting groundbreaking research; providing critical public health services in Los Angeles, throughout the United States and abroad; and training many of the most influential public health leaders in the world.
At the anniversary event, which was emceed by actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis, the school's dean, Dr. Linda Rosenstock, recognized three individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of public health -- particularly in areas that reflect the school's key mission. Those honored as 50th Anniversary Public Health Champions were:
Cindy Harrell Horn
Horn, an environmental and public health advocate and co-founder of the Environmental Media Association, has helped shine a spotlight on environmental issues and has been a driving force in drawing attention to the health effects of climate change. She also played a critical role in developing the UCLA Global Bio Lab.
Oliver, a celebrity chef, TV host and healthy food advocate, has used his critically and popularly acclaimed television series "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" to bring his message of healthy eating to children and families across the country.
Dr. Robert K. Ross
President and CEO of the California Endowment, Ross, who is a physician and public health administrator, advocates for the health needs of underserved Californians, with a particular focus on building community health centers, improving health services for farmworkers and promoting diversity among health professionals.
The event's featured speaker was award-winning author and New Yorker magazine staff writer Dr. Atul Gawande. A physician and former Clinton White House adviser, Gawande has had a profound impact on medicine and policy through his studies on surgical procedures and health care costs and his advocacy for reform. His book "Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science" was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2002. His latest, "The Checklist Manifesto," is a New York Times best-seller.
Entertainment was provided by actress and singer Cynthia Sikes Yorkin, who also serves as a member of the UCLA School of Public Health Dean's Advisory Board.
The school also inducted the following alumni into the 2011 Alumni Hall of Fame in recognition of their outstanding and distinctive contributions to the field of public health: Robert Black, M.D., M.P.H.; Sam Downing, M.B.A., M.P.H., F.A.C.H.E.; Kathryn Hall-Trujillo, M.P.H.; Arthur Southam, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H.; Antronette Yancey, M.D., M.P.H.; and Peter Long, M.P.H., Ph.D.
For more information on the inductees, please visit http://ucla.in/hPwfPX.
The UCLA School of Public Health is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research; training future leaders and health professionals; translating research into policy and practice; and serving local, national and international communities.
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SOURCE University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences