Thomas A. Bartenfeld III Award for Public Health Practice

On an annual basis, the Thomas A. Bartenfeld III Award for Public Health Practice will recognize an individual who reflects excellence in public health practice – that rare combination of perspective grounded in frontline, day-to-day public health work and constant drive toward meaningful program measurement and outcomes.

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Thomas A. Bartenfeld III

About Dr. Tom Bartenfeld

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dr. Tom Bartenfeld on September 5, 2013. Tom was the Associate Director for Public Health Practice in CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Tom began his 35 year career at CDC as a Public Health Advisor with STD field assignments that included Chicago and New York City. He joined the newly created Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in 1986 where he worked in emergency response. In the early 1990s, Tom established CDC’s injury and violence extramural research program as the Agency’s injury and violence work transitioned from a Division to a Center. He also contributed to CDC’s mission through various assignments in the Coordinating Center for Health Promotion.

As a health scientist, Tom demonstrated his rare ability to promote real-world program improvement based on evaluation theory and practice. His expertise and approach was often in demand by programs and teams outside his own, leading him to serve in advisory and consultative roles. The generosity Dr. Bartenfeld showed in sharing his knowledge, expertise and advice in this way has been unmatched at CDC. Mentoring was the foundation of how he worked. He was genuinely interested in enhancing the professional growth, knowledge and practice of others.

Excellence in public health practice is both an art and a science and Dr. Tom Bartenfeld modeled this unique blend of practical and academic perspectives throughout his career. Dr. Bartenfeld’s clarity of thinking and leadership in evaluation and public health practice has been pivotal in directing the work of the organizations where he worked. His exceptional leadership in translating the ambitious strategic plan for CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities into day-to-day projects, decisions and funding allocations resulted in the Center seeing real progress towards achieving their goals. His outstanding interpersonal skills and ability to clearly convey his vision will have a lasting impact for the Center, its programs and its constituents.