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Release date:
Feb. 4, 2002
Contact: Elaine Justice, Associate Director: 404-727-0643 or

Health Pioneer Foege Featured at Emory Symposium

The individual and global struggles – and the ability to make a difference – in the world of international health will be addressed by public health pioneer Dr. William Foege during Emory University’s third annual Science and Theology Symposium Tuesday, Feb. 26.

Foege, Emory University Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health Emeritus, is the winner of the 2001 Mary Woodward Lasker Award, "America’s Nobel Prize" in medicine. He currently is the senior medical adviser for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program.

"This is not a fatalistic world," says Foege, who adds that his talk also will touch on issues raised in the wake of Sept. 11. "Although it is difficult, we have more in our control to affect change than we realize."

Foege will speak during a noon luncheon in Cox Hall, 569 Asbury Circle on the Emory campus. Following invited responses from William C. Wood, chair of the Department of Surgery at Emory School of Medicine, and Walter J. Lowe, professor of systematic theology at Candler School of Theology, the audience will be invited to join the conversation with Foege and his respondents. The symposium is free and open to the public, but to reserve lunch, attendees are asked to call 404-727-6022 or e-mail

Foege also will speak at an interfaith service of music, reflection and word at 7:30 p.m. in Glenn Memorial Auditorium, 1652 N. Decatur Road on the Emory campus. The service will include music by the Meridian Chorale and Timothy Albrecht, Emory University organist.

As a medical officer for the World Health Organization, Foege developed the methodology to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. He then joined the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as assistant to the director before becoming director in 1977. From 1984 to 2000, he served as executive director of the Task Force for Child Survival and Development, which in just six years helped raise general immunization levels of the world’s children from 20 percent to 80 percent.

Foege later served as executive director of The Carter Center and was appointed Presidential Distinguished Professor at Emory in 1997.

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