If there is such a thing as a rock star in the global health care sector, Bill Foege is the man. Known for his work eradicating smallpox, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also the founder of the Task Force for Global Health, the second largest health-related charity in the world. Foege is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind and the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage. He can now add another honor to his long list of accomplishments.
MAP International, a Brunswick-based Christian organization that provides life-changing medicines and health supplies to people in need, recently made Foege the namesake of its annual health awards. Since 1954, the organization has provided more than $6 billion in medicines and medical supplies. This year, Bill Foege Global Health Awards were presented to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Rotary International for the work both organizations do. In developing countries, the foundation focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people —especially those with the fewest resources — have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Rotary International was honored for its work in eradicating polio.