UC Berkeley honors Public Health Heroes

Recipients of 16th annual award are Marcus Conant and Mary Robinson.

Marcus Conant and Mary Robinson

More than 200 attendees gathered March 21 at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco to celebrate the 2012 Public Health Heroes. Awardees were AIDS pioneer Dr. Marcus A. Conant and former president of Ireland Mary Robinson.

Conant is an honored and respected pioneer, lecturer, physician and outspoken advocate for people with HIV and AIDS. Among the first physicians to identify AIDS in 1981, he helped create one of the largest private AIDS clinics, was a founder of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and contributed to development of some of today’s top HIV medications.

Robinson, the first woman president of Ireland, former U.N. high commissioner for human rights, and founder and president of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, has been a lifelong champion of health as a human right. She has used her influence as a world leader to advocate for maternal health, reproductive choices, immunizations, and the right to food and clean water.

The Public Health Hero award was founded to honor pioneers working toward improved health for all and to raise awareness of the field of public health. The 58 previous recipients of UC Berkeley Public Health Hero award have included actor Rob Reiner, who co-founded the I Am Your Child Foundation; Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer-prize-winning author of “The Coming Plague;” and Dr. Paul Farmer, founding director of Partners in Health.



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