Congratulations to Doctors Without Borders, 2019 Fries Prize for Improving Health Recipient

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been present in all major humanitarian emergencies over the last few decades responding to a growing gap in health needs across the globe. Their work proved essential, for instance, during the 2014–2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa where MSF was at the forefront of treating patients as well as providing training and education to local health staff.

MSF is an amazing humanitarian organization with an incredibly dedicated team. Yesterday I had the honor to attend the annual Fries Prize for Improving Health award ceremony at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) meeting in Philadelphia, where MSF was awarded this year’s prize.

MSF received the Fries prize for its lifesaving impact on the health of people across the world. The Fries Prize for Improving Health is presented to an individual or organization doing the most to improve health for the greatest number of people, and MSF certainly embodies this principle.

As part of its varied response work, MSF delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters, or exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries. Founded in France in 1971 by a small group of physicians and journalists, MSF is a global movement with the purpose of saving lives and alleviating the suffering of people in danger by delivering medical care where it is most needed. In emergencies and their aftermath, MSF provides health care, rehabilitates and runs hospitals and clinics, performs surgery, battles epidemics, carries out vaccination campaigns, operates feeding centers for malnourished children and offers mental health care.

The CDC Foundation is honored to partner with the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation to present the Fries Prize for Improving Health each year as well as the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award. At this year’s ceremony, Dr. Judy Monroe, CDC Foundation president and CEO, and Greg Fries, representing the Fries Family who created and supports the award, presented the prize to MSF.

Congratulations to MSF for this well-deserved recognition!



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