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Inter-American Leadership Award Bestowed Upon Chilean Chronic Disease Expert
Date:10/1/2007

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A visionary leader, Dr. Maria Cristina Escobar Fritzsche of Chile, received high-level recognition for her outstanding contributions to the prevention and control of chronic diseases in the Americas during the 27th Pan American Sanitary Conference proceedings today. The Abraham Horwitz Award for Leadership in Inter-American Health is bestowed upon creative leaders whose commitment to public health stimulates excellence among their peers, staff, and other public health professionals and whose leadership has an impact beyond their borders and throughout the Americas.

Dr. Frederick Naftolin, a trustee of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), presented the prestigious award to Dr. Escobar before an esteemed audience of ministers of health and other dignitaries. Dr. Naftolin noted that she played a pivotal role in the organization of a stellar initiative for health promotion and prevention of chronic diseases in Chile and its expansion across the Americas. He also said, "Dr. Escobar has contributed innovations in monitoring the quality of care for chronic conditions in Chile. These successful examples have sparked quality of care improvement throughout Latin America."

Earlier today, the foundation's Executive Director, Ms. Jess Gersky, also congratulated Dr. Escobar during a luncheon in her honor. "It is fitting that an expert in chronic diseases and healthy aging would be honored today. It is becoming apparent that chronic diseases are a major problem, not just in high- income countries, but in the developing world. Worldwide four chronic conditions -- cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory diseases are responsible for approximately 60% of all deaths. The social and economic impacts of chronic disease are felt at many levels. They burden the health care system, reduce economic productivity, and take their toll on family members who must assume the role of caregivers.
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SOURCE Pan American Health and Education Foundation
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