Raymond J. Baxter Receives CDC Foundation Hero Award

Raymond J. Baxter, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Community Benefit for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, will receive the 2006 CDC Foundation Hero Award. Dr. Baxter will be honored for his affirmation of the critical importance of governmental public health’s role in addressing the health consequences of Hurricane Katrina and for longstanding commitment for improving the health of communities.

The CDC Foundation Hero Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to improving the public’s health through exemplary work in advancing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mission of disease prevention and health promotion.

The award will be presented at the CDC Foundation’s annual reception at CDC’s Tom Harkin Global Communications Center on September 26.

“Dr. Baxter is an outstanding leader and a visionary whose work in public health and health care demonstrates a deep commitment to bettering the health and lives of people everywhere,” says Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “Last year, when Hurricane Katrina hit, Dr. Baxter sought out the best opportunity for Kaiser Permanente to make an impact for the people and communities on the Gulf Coast. Understanding the vital role that governmental public health teams would play in the response, he and his team quickly made the decision to bolster the efforts of public health workers serving storm victims and evacuees.”

“Day after day the entire nation relies on the public health system for their safety and basic care,” says Dr. Baxter. “In the instance of Hurricane Katrina, Kaiser Permanente was concerned that the people who rely on this system the most - those in vulnerable populations - would be overlooked. Due to our longstanding partnership, we knew that the CDC Foundation would be the perfect lifeline of support to the people of the Gulf Coast. Together, we were able to get our resources to those in need, literally within hours. I am humbled by this award and proud to be part of an ongoing, unified effort to protect the nation’s health.”

Dr. Baxter has earned a national reputation for his work in community health, health systems reform, policy development, organizational change and strategy. He has more than 30 years of experience managing public health, hospital, long-term care and mental health programs including heading the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. In 2001, the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health honored him as a Public Health Hero for his service in the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco.

Dr. Baxter serves on a number of national boards and committees, including The Center for Corporate Citizenship, Boston College; the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health Advisory Council; Grantmakers in Health; and the Expert Review Panel for RAND’s Public Health System Investments Project.