Editor’s note: The following is a press release from Indiana University. Bloom has republished it here with minor edits for style and clarity.
The Indiana University School of Public Health–Bloomington will honor Dr. Anthony Fauci for his work in HIV/AIDS prevention and as a leading expert during the COVID-19 pandemic by naming him the 2021 recipient of the school’s Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award.
Established in 2009 by the School of Public Health’s Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention, the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes individuals who are “exemplary bearers of the standard of excellence and commitment needed to combat HIV/AIDS.”
The center will present the award to Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and host him for a “fireside chat” as part of a virtual ceremony at 5:15 p.m. on December 6. Registration for the event is now open.
“Recipients of the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award have demonstrated their solemn promise to scientific methods, access to treatment and educating the public,” says William L. Yarber, senior director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention and Provost Professor at the School of Public Health. “Dr. Fauci—from his early and continuing work in HIV/AIDS prevention to the COVID-19 pandemic—is perhaps the most recognizable figure associated with infectious disease research and public awareness.”
“Stalwart members of the scientific community, throughout history, have defended their peoples, communities and humanity at large by uncompromisingly standing up for the pursuit and communication of truth through science,” School of Public Health Dean David B. Allison says. “As we have stared down this demon of a pandemic, no figure has more prominently represented this commitment to science and truth than Dr. Fauci.”
Past Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award recipients include Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Greg Louganis, Dr. C. Everett Koop, and Jeanne White-Ginder, mother of Ryan White.
Ryan White was an Indiana teen who was diagnosed with HIV in 1984 after receiving contaminated blood products used to treat his hemophilia. He was banned from public school despite assurance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indiana State Department of Health that he posed no risk to students and staff. His legal battle to return to school made international news. He died on April 8, 1990, at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis at the age of 18.
The Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention was founded in 1994 to promote the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in rural America and has been largely supported through a partnership with the CDC.