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Prestigious Bioethics Award for Scholar from Mexico

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today a promising young scholar in bioethics, Dr. Jorge Alberto Alvarez Diaz of Mexico, accepted the Manuel Velasco-Suarez Award in Bioethics for his proposed research and its potential in advancing the field of bioethics in Latin America during the 27th Pan American Sanitary Conference proceedings.

Dr. Frederick Naftolin, a trustee of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), presented this recognition for his proposed study of attitudes of Latin American couples seeking assisted reproductive services toward these services and preservation of human embryos. "Using the results of the opinion survey, Dr. Alvarez will develop a plan to create bioethics committees" in those Latin American countries that preserve embryos and report their work in reproductive health to the Latin American Network of Attended Reproduction." Dr. Naftolin concluded by noting the importance and timeliness of his research for Latin America.

The foundation's Executive Director, Ms. Jess Gersky, expressed her congratulations to Dr. Alvarez during a luncheon earlier today. "Bioethics has been a priority area of our Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health Program since 2002. That year through the foundation, the Secretary of Health in cooperation with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) established a bioethics award to honor the late Dr. Manuel Velasco-Suarez, a pioneer in the field of bioethics in Latin America." Ms. Gersky spoke of the importance of the field of bioethics, especially as it applies to changes in medical science and technology such as the subject of Dr. Alvarez's proposed research-assisted reproduction.

The Manuel Velasco-Suarez Award in Bioethics promotes bioethics, an emerging discipline in Latin America, by offering a grant to young scholars so they can develop their capacities for bioethical analysis. Dr. Velasco-Suarez was a progressive and visionary thinker recognized worldwide for his achievements in bioethics and neuroscience. His creative and open-minded approach was embodied in his work as a founding member of the Organization of Physicians against Nuclear War, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. This award is one of five awards of the Awards for Excellence in Inter- American Public Health Program, a partnership between PAHEF and PAHO.

The foundation is US public charity working to combat disease, lengthen life, improve health care services, foster health research, and enhance the capacities of health care workers in the Americas through grant-making and direct program implementation. PAHEF works to promote philanthropy as a core social value, and shares the Pan American Health Organization's vision of Health for All.

To learn more about the Pan American Health and Education Foundation, please visit

SOURCE Pan American Health and Education Foundation
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