Dr. Caleb Banta-Green, an affiliate associate professor of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health and senior research scientist at the UW’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, was awarded the state’s Public Health Leadership Award for his extensive work in drug abuse epidemiology.
[Photo: Dr. Caleb Banta-Green with Secretary of Health Dr. John Wiesman (left) and State Health Officer Ms. Kathy Lofy (right)]
Washington State Secretary of Health Dr. John Wiesman presented the award to Dr. Banta-Green during an October 7 event at the UW Magnuson Health Sciences Center, acknowledging him as “a leader who turns data into action,” “collaborates and builds bridges,” and “understands equity and health disparities.”
The honor was first announced October 5 at the Washington State Public Health Association’s annual conference in Wenatchee. The annual award recognizes outstanding leadership in areas such as public health advocacy, research, education, leadership, equity and social justice.
The award presentation came shortly after Governor Jay Inslee issued an executive order to fight opioid abuse in Washington state, calling it a “public health crisis.” Governor Inslee ordered state agencies to work with local public health, tribal and other officials to respond to the growing problem of overdoses of opioids such as heroin and prescription narcotics. The agencies must work on the state’s response plan and report on its progress by the end of this year.
Dr. Banta-Green is a member of the Seattle and King County Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force and he has studied the epidemiology of drug use for nearly two decades. Dr. Banta-Green has an MSW, MPH and PhD in health services research, all from the UW. He also served as senior science advisor for the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Executive Office of the President in 2012.