The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded the Task Force for Global Health the 2016 Hilton Humanitarian Prize—the world’s largest humanitarian award. Only one recipient is selected each year.
The Task Force, an Emory-affiliated, international organization dedicated to addressing large-scale health problems affecting people living in extreme poverty, has been a pioneer in global health since its founding thirty-three years ago. It now reaches hundreds of millions of people in 154 countries through programs focusing on neglected tropical diseases, vaccines, field epidemiology, public health informatics, and health workforce development.
With the prize, the organization received $2 million in unrestricted funding, which will be used for a capital campaign to purchase a larger headquarters in downtown Decatur.
“We are deeply humbled and honored to join the ranks of prestigious organizations that have helped alleviate human suffering,” said David Ross, president and CEO of the Task Force. “We have long believed collaboration is essential to solving large-scale health problems. It is through our partnerships that we have been able to have an extraordinary collective impact.”
Founded in 1984 by William H. Foege, epidemiologist and former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, the Task Force has worked with hundreds of partners to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases and increase access to medicines and vaccines for tuberculosis, polio, influenza, and cholera. Beginning with the Mectizan Donation Program, the Task Force is credited with helping to mobilize the pharmaceutical industry to donate billions of dollars annually in essential medicines to save and improve lives.