The University of Michigan will honor a champion of global public health on April 6, 2016 at 2 p.m. when the third Thomas Francis Jr. Medal will be bestowed upon the leader of an international organization that works to alleviate poverty by creating opportunities. The Thomas Francis Jr. Medal ceremony, Sir Fazle’s remarks and a panel moderated by Dr. Matthew Boulton, senior associate dean for global public health and professor of epidemiology, health management and policy, and preventive medicine, begins at 2 pm on April 6. Other panelists include Dr. Amy Dittmar, vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and professor of finance, Ross School of Business; Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, executive director of public health and health officer, city of Detroit; and Dr. James Jackson, Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, LSA; research professor, Institute for Social Research.
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed is founder and chair of the organization once known as the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee but now, with programs in 12 countries, is simply called BRAC. U-M honors Abed for his lifetime achievement reaching millions living in poverty in Bangladesh and 11 other countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. His organization is built on the belief that poverty does not have one cause and therefore requires many solutions.
BRAC’s programs include education, microfinance, skills and job training, health care, and empowerment to give people, particularly women and children, the tools and resources they need to overcome poverty.
“The Thomas Francis, Jr. Medal in Global Public Health celebrates the University of Michigan’s excellence in research and impact on humanity, while recognizing the greatest achievements of those who have advanced human health and welfare around the globe,” said University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel.
“The presentation to Sir Fazle gives us the opportunity to learn from a global leader who is taking on some of society’s most pressing problems — while drawing inspiration for our ongoing work to address global health challenges as a community of scholars.”
The medal will be presented at 2 p.m. April 6, at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business in Robertson Auditorium. Abed will speak, followed by a panel discussion. A reception follows the event.
“Sir Fazle has done extraordinary work across multiple disciplines to tackle poverty by building an incredible development organization unlike any other. The result has been significant public health gains on a global scale,” said School of Public Health Dean Martin Philbert.
“Future generations should be inspired by his vision and rigor. Through BRAC, Sir Fazle has demonstrated that the potential for dramatically improving the public’s health is within our reach.”