Ninez Ponce Receives 2024 Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award

I am delighted to share that Ninez Ponce, PhD, MPP, a champion for data democratization, yesterday received the 2024 Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award at the annual meeting of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE). Dr. Ninez received this prestigious recognition for her work on understanding and addressing health disparities, particularly among vulnerable and underserved populations.

Dr. Ponce is the principal investigator of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). The public health data infrastructure she helped build has generated findings that have greatly educated state and federal policymakers on the drivers of health inequity and has enabled communities to improve health and equity in their work.

Dr. Ponce champions better data. She ensures those who are marginalized or excluded are represented in data.

In her remarks at the award ceremony, CDC Foundation president and CEO Dr. Judy Monroe underscored the impact of Dr. Ponce’s work for public health and said: “Dr. Ponce’s support of data democratization as well as enhancing the public’s access to data empowers more people to understand and utilize data to improve public health outcome for every person in every community in every corner of the country.”

The Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award recognizes a health educator who has made a substantial contribution to advancing the field of health education or health promotion through research, program development or program delivery. Award recipients receive a $50,000 prize.

The CDC Foundation is honored to partner with the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation, which established and funds the Fries Prize for Improving Health and the Elizabeth Fries Health Education award. The CDC Foundation manages and administers the Fries Foundation’s public health award programs.

Diana Robelotto
Diana Robelotto Scalera is the director of alumni affairs for the CDC Foundation.