WASHINGTON The Institute of Medicine today presented the 2013 Gustav O. Lienhard Award to Steven A. Schroeder, whose pioneering efforts to control tobacco use have helped save millions from premature, smoking-related deaths. The award also recognizes Schroeder's leadership in general medicine as well as his work to improve end-of-life care.
"It is my great privilege to present this award to a dedicated champion of health for Americans and citizens around the world," said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg. "Dr. Schroeder's perseverance in funding tobacco research and creating breakthrough strategies to help smokers quit facilitated a shift in public attitudes toward smoking and shaped policies to prevent smoking."
As president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) from 1990 to 2002, Schroeder established and led programs to reduce smoking, enhance end-of-life care, expand health insurance for children, and encourage physical activity. His most influential initiative at RWJF focused on leveraging research, policy, advocacy, and education to reduce tobacco use and drive systemwide changes that created higher tobacco taxes, smoke-free indoor air laws, and better access to addiction treatment. RWJF tobacco research was cited in the formulation of and advocacy for such policy adoption. The impact of anti-smoking campaigns by RWJF and its partners was profound. Smoking rates among adults declined from 25.5 percent in 1993 to 18 percent in 2011, meaning that 5.3 million fewer people were smoking and more than 60,000 smoking-related deaths had been avoided by 2010.
At RWJF, Schroeder also funded the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, which was influential in documenting large regional variations in medical services that do not correlate to desired health care outcomes. In addition, he initiated a national program to enroll eligible children for health insurance following the passage of State Children's Health Insurance Pro
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National Academy of Sciences