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Dr. Paul Offit Honored for Contributions to Global Health
The American Academy of Pediatrics, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and University of Pennsylvania Medical School All Pay Tribute to Dr. Offit's Accomplishments
November 19, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amy Pisani, 202-277-7587, amyp@ecbt.org

(WASHINGTON, D.C.):  Every Child By Two recognizes board member Paul Offit, MD, FAAP for his extraordinary contributions in the realm of pediatric and global health, through his research and dedication to childhood immunizations.  Dr. Offit is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine which combats the most common cause of severe diarrhea among children. 

For his many contributions to children’s health, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) presented Dr. Offit with the President's Certificate for Outstanding Service.  In recognition of his ongoing commitment to promote immunization, the award was presented at the National Conference and Exhibition of the AAP in October.  The award honors an individual's outstanding service and long-term, personal dedication to the mission of the AAP and to the health, safety and well-being of children.  

“We are grateful for Dr. Offit's commitment to public health,” said Rosalynn Carter, former first lady and ECBT co-founder.  “Through his tireless advocacy to ensure that children are protected against disease, he has saved countless lives of here in America and around the world.”

Additionally, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine bestowed Dr. Offit with the William Osler Patient Oriented Research Award which recognizes outstanding performance by the faculty in the education, research, clinical, and mentoring areas. 

Bill and Melinda Gates also recognized Dr. Offit at t their October 28 launch of The Living Proof Project, a campaign designed to showcase the successful US investments in global health.  Among other accomplishments, Melinda Gates called vaccines the “miracle of our lifetimes” and thanked Dr. Offit for his groundbreaking accomplishment of co-inventing the rotavirus vaccine, a vaccine which protects children from a disease that kills as many as 600,000 children a year worldwide, mostly in the developing countries.  The Gates explained that the vaccine is starting to reach the children who need it the most and is already transforming communities such as the village of Pantasma, Nicaragua where80% of the children under the age of 5 have now been vaccinated against rotavirus.

“Throughout his 30-plus year career in medicine, it's impossible to quantify the impact that Dr. Offit has made in fighting infectious diseases in order to protect the lives of children worldwide” said Dr. Martin Smith, MD, former AAP president.  “I am thrilled to see him being recognized for his achievements.”

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Every Child By Two, the Rosalynn Carter/Betty Bumpers Campaign for Early Childhood Immunization, works to ensure that all children receive timely immunizations and continues to seek methods to institutionalize vaccine delivery and ensure access to vaccines for all children. 

For more information, please visit www.ecbt.org and www.vaccinateyourbaby.org.

Dr. Paul Offit is a pediatrician, chief of infectious diseases and the director of the vaccine education center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  He serves as a board member of Every Child By Two and is the author of many books, including his most recent publication Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure.