To encourage and reward those who tirelessly strive to make the world a healthier place, we are honored to recognize these deserving individuals each year. The Fries Prize for Improving Health recognizes an individual who has made major accomplishments in health improvement, with emphasis on recent contributions to health in the United States, and with the general criteria of the greatest good for the greatest number. 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.
The CDC Foundation is honored to partner with the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation, which established and funds the awards. In January 2016, the CDC Foundation assumed management and administration of the Fries Foundation’s public health award programs, which includes the Fries Prize for Improving Health and the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award.
About the Fries Foundation
The James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation is a nonprofit corporation incorporated in 1991. The mission of the Foundation is to identify and honor individuals, organizations, or institutions which have made great contributions to the health of the public. The Foundation seeks to reward accomplishment rather than promise, practicality rather than theory.
About the Award
Dr. James F. Fries, professor emeritus of medicine at Stanford University, came up with the idea for the Fries Prize for Improving Health in a 1987 ascent of Nepal’s Makalu—one of the world’s highest peaks—when his party became trapped in a severe snowstorm and was ultimately unable to scale the mountain. Following that experience, Dr. Fries returned to sea level and set about establishing a foundation to support a Nobel-like prize for health that now annually awards a $60,000 prize to an individual judged by an expert panel to have done the greatest good for the greatest number in the field of health. Sarah Fries remained active in the Fries Prize awards until her death in May 2017.