Camara Phyllis Jones Receives 2023 Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award

I am delighted to share with you that Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, PhD, MPH, yesterday received the 2023 Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award at the annual meeting of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE). Dr. Jones received this prestigious recognition for her exceptional ability to educate about pathways linking racism to poor health outcomes and to advocate powerfully and creatively to promote transformative solutions.

Dr. Jones is a family physician and epidemiologist renowned for her work in educating and advocating on anti-racism. She uses allegories on race and racism to communicate complex ideas. Her goal is to mobilize and engage individuals in a sustained national campaign against racism, believing that racism saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources.

Martha Katz, MPA, chair of the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation board of directors, noted that Dr. Jones delivers messages in ways that people can understand it, receive it and act on it.

During her 14-year career as a medical officer and research director at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Jones helped the agency understand race as a social construct and racism as a determinant of health, which helped the agency recognize racism as a serious public health threat.

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 $25,000 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.