University of Washington School of Public Health
Distinguished Alumni Awards
The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna with a demonstrated record of distinguished service and achievement in any public health discipline or setting. These alumni have made humanitarian contributions and had significant impact, advancing the field through research or practice. They have also demonstrated exceptional resourcefulness, innovation, and/or creativity.
Watch this year’s lecture on YouTube
Leading the Health of a Nation: The Impact of a Public Health Education
UW School of Public Health and the UW Alumni Association honored Bernice Dahn, MPH ‘05, and Patricia Garcia, MPH ’98, the School of Public Health’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awardees.
Dahn earned her MPH in the aftermath of a prolonged civil war that decimated Liberia's health infrastructure and compelled many of its health workers to flee. Her aim of completing the degree: to target head-on the challenges she and her countrypersons faced in rebuilding their health system. She was integral in bringing an end to the country’s Ebola outbreak and in restoring routine health services as the Deputy Minister and Chief Medical Officer. She now serves as the Minister of Health of Liberia.
Garcia’s training in internal medicine, infectious disease and public health paved the way for her success. She became a leading researcher in sexually transmitted disease, the first female chair of the Peruvian National Institute of Health and, most recently, Peru’s new health minister.