Fries Foundation Names CDC Foundation to Assume Management of Public Health Awards Program

Since 1992 the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation has honored individuals who have made important and lasting contributions to public health. Recipients have been recognized annually through The Fries Prize for Improving Health, a $60,000 prize, and the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award, a $25,000 prize. To build upon this effort, Dr. James Fries today announced that he and his wife, Sarah, will provide an endowment to the CDC Foundation for management and administration of the public health awards program going forward. The transition to the CDC Foundation will be completed by the end of 2015.

The selection requirements and award process will remain intact and recipients of both awards will continue to be determined by the prize jury. Dr. Fries, Emeritus Stanford University professor of medicine, will continue to serve as James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation chair.

 “We have great respect and admiration for the work of the CDC Foundation. Since 2011 we have been working with the CDC Foundation informally and collaboratively on the administration of these awards,” said Dr. Fries. “We know that having the CDC Foundation perform this role will ensure the continuation of the awards program while also maintaining the integrity of this effort to recognize individuals for outstanding contributions to improving public health and saving lives.”

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. It is intended for an individual who has done the most to improve health.  For 22 years, the Fries Prize for Improving Health has recognized public health luminaries including former CDC Director William H. Foege, M.D., M.P.H., who was a leader in the drive to eradicate smallpox and in childhood vaccinations, and C. Everett Koop, M.D., former surgeon general of the United States, who advanced reduction of cigarette smoking, prevention of AIDS and reduction in domestic violence. The 2013 awardee is Charles Hennekens, M.D., Dr.PH. for his seminal research on low-dose aspirin, which has prevented millions of heart attacks.

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. Among past recipients is John Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, for his leadership and vision in educating individuals on cancer prevention.

“The CDC Foundation and the Fries Foundation have a shared commitment to the protection and improvement of public health,” said Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “I have known and admired Jim for many years, and I am personally inspired to be working closely with him on administering these two prestigious awards that will contribute to a healthier, safer world.”

About the CDC Foundation
Established by Congress, the CDC Foundation helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do more, faster, by forging public-private partnerships to support CDC’s work 24/7 to save lives and protect people from health and safety threats. The CDC Foundation currently manages more than 200 CDC-led programs in the United States and in 58 countries around the world. Since 1995 the CDC Foundation has launched more than 700 programs and raised $400 million to advance the life-saving work of CDC. For more information, please visit