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Dr. Susan Blumenthal, Meridian International Center's Global Health Chair, Named Health Leader of the Year

WASHINGTON, June 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rear Admiral Susan J. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A., Chair of Meridian International Center's Global Health Program, received the 2009 Health Leader of the Year Award on June 3rd in Atlanta from the Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service. Previous recipients of this award include C. Everett Koop, MD, Anthony Fauci, MD, and Senator Bill Frist.

Blumenthal, a former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General, received the association's highest honor for her lifetime achievements in raising awareness about critical public health issues; her leadership on women's health and global health; and developing innovative programs to address understudied health challenges.

Dr. Blumenthal leads Meridian's new Global Health Program, a key initiative that includes world affairs public briefings and conferences, U.S. State Department International Visitor Leadership Programs, and arts and cultural activities.

"Dr. Blumenthal's 20 years of leadership in global health and health diplomacy has built bridges between nations by fostering dialogue on health through educational programs, training initiatives, and the use of new media to advance global health," said Ambassador Stuart W. Holliday, President of Meridian International Center. "We are grateful to Dr. Blumenthal for her service to Meridian and congratulate her on this honor."

In addition to serving as Chair of the Global Health Program at Meridian, Blumenthal is Director of the Health and Medicine Program at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, where she leads its Commission on Charting New Directions in the field. She also serves as Senior Medical and Policy Advisor at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research and as a Clinical Professor at Georgetown and Tufts Schools of Medicine.

She was among the first in the United States government to use the Internet for health education, envisioning and establishing several award-winning health websites, including,,,, and and is currently developing, and has recently established another website for health information that can be found at or

Blumenthal served as the first ever Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women's Health and Senior Global and e-Health Advisor in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is an internationally recognized medical expert and leader who has been a major force in bringing important public health issues including disease and violence prevention, women's health and mental illness to increased scientific and public attention. Dr. Blumenthal has been at the forefront of applying technology to improve health and to encourage international collaboration.

Dr. Blumenthal has also provided international leadership on global health, addressing HIV/AIDS, bioterrorism, avian flu, SARS, and the chronic disease epidemic, and has established a Palestinian/Israeli Health Initiative initially supported by USAID. Dr. Blumenthal has served as U.S. Federal government's delegate to the WHO Global Commission on Women's Health.

About Dr. Blumenthal: For more information, visit or

About Meridian International Center: Meridian International Center, founded in 1960, is a leading non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening international understanding. Meridian builds sustainable global partnerships through leadership exchanges, international collaboration and cultural diplomacy.

SOURCE Meridian International Center
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