|June 10, 2019
Maine Public Health Association Awards to Dr. Lani Graham and Others
Dr. Lani Graham, MD, MPH, was presented last Thursday with the Ruth S. Shaper Memorial Award by the Maine Public Health Association. The Shaper Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution in the area of public health. The individual will have demonstrated a broad orientation to health promotion and disease prevention that extends beyond his/her specific profession or field of interest.
Dr. Graham was recognized for her career-long advocacy for public health and safety, going back to her work to have seat belt use required in automobiles. She is a board certified family practice physician with a masters degree in public health and tropical medicine. She served for six years as Director of the Maine Bureau of Health, and earlier she practiced medicine in the Massachusetts prison system and in Nicaragua, North Dakota, Mississippi, and Georgia (managing a migrant health services program). Dr. Graham is well known to the MMA, where she served as director of the Medical Professionals Health Program and as chair of the Public Health Committee. Lani, your MMA family congratulates you for this well-deserved honor!
Other awards were given as follows:
The MPHA President's Award: Maine Families for Vaccines, for their tireless work in educating legislators and the public about vaccines which led to the passage (by one vote in the Senate) of LD 798, repealing the philosophical and religious exemptions to the school and healthcare employment immunization requirements.
The Public Health Program of Excellence Award: Meg Lane and the Maine Department of Transportation for their "My Maine Sign" contest, which collects traffic safety quips from the general public and posts them on electronic highway message boards on Maine's interstate highways and the turnpike.
The Phebe Conrey King Access to Healthcare Award: Carol Zechman of MaineHealth, for her leadership abilities in promoting increased access to healthcare by all Maine residents, and will have made a significant contribution toward meeting the needs of the uninsured and medically under-served.
The Pamela M. B. Studwell Tobacco Policy Award: Becky Smith, recently governmental affairs director for the Maine chapter of the American Heart Association, for her dedication, persistence, and passion for improving lives has significantly advanced best practice tobacco policies in Maine.
The Public Health Policy Champion Award: Senator Rebecca Millett, for her work in the Maine Senate on topics too numerous to mention which has made a significant contribution to public health in Maine by the establishment of sound public policy.
The Public Health Journalism Award: Joe Lawlor of the Portland Press Herald, for his coverage of immunizations and other public health topics which has made a significant contribution to public health in Maine.
The Public Health Business Champion Award: Margo Walsh and MaineWorks. The company provide jobs in the fields of construction, carpentry, masonry, roadwork, bridges, demolition, landscaping, and much more. MaineWorks is not just a staffing company – it has provided quality, long term employment for hundreds of men and women since opening in 2010. Along with meaningful job placement, MaineWorks’ employees participate in a comprehensive social needs evaluation through the Maine Recovery Fund so that they can be directed to the appropriate local resources.
The Public Health Rising Star Award: Emma Bond, Esq., from ACLU Maine, for her innovative and dedicated work as a young professional in achieving through litigation the right of persons incarcerated in the Maine correctional systems to receive treatment, including medication assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorder. Her work, through the successful defense of an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, established that right for all incarcerated persons throughout most of New England and Puerto Rico.
The Unsung Hero Award: The Maine Center for Disease Control. The new award recognizes an individual, department or organization who has positively influenced PH in Maine from behind the scenes. Maine CDC staff have been selected to be the inaugural recipients of this award for their commitment to protecting PH, even in the face of cuts, criticism, and a generally difficult environment. The recognition is for their commitment to the mission of the organization and to the field of PH, and for their dedication to their work.
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