- Boca Raton US-FL
Post-doctoral prize paper from the Society for Epidemiologic Research
Phi Beta Kappa; Scholar-Athlete, Captain and MVP of varsity basketball; Co-captain varsity baseball
On March 3, 2014 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Charles Hennekens, MD, was awarded the Fries Prize for Improving Health. The James and Sarah Fries Foundation is a nonprofit organization that created the prize to recognize medical professionals who achieve breakthroughs that substantially impact public health in The United States and worldwide. The foundation honored Dr. Charles Hennekens for his pioneering research on aspirin in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Hennekens has also conducted seminal work on other cardiovascular drugs of lifesaving benefits including statins, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. According to Science Heroes, Dr. Hennekens' work has saved 1.1 million lives which ranks him #81 in the history of the world, two ahead of Jonas Salk for his work on the polio vaccine. Currently, the physician serves as the First Sir Richard Doll Professor and Senior Academic Advisor to the Dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, the first and only medical school in Palm Beach County which is now three years old. The foundation first bestowed the Fries Prize, which includes a cash prize of $60,000, in the early 1990s. For more information about the Fries Prize for Improving Health and the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation, visit www.friesfoundation.org.
Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.P.H., today received the Fries Prize for Improving Health for his first discoveries of the lifesaving benefits of aspirin, as well as groundbreaking work on statins, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers and beta adrenergic blockers, which today are cornerstones in the treatment and prevention of heart attacks and strokes. Hennekens was honored at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters, where he also delivered a lecture on his pioneering research. The Fries Prize award presentation to Professor Hennekens was originally scheduled for October 2013 but was postponed due to the partial government shutdown. Hennekens is the first Sir Richard Doll professor and senior academic advisor to the dean in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. He was the founding principal investigator of the Physician’s Health Study, which was the first to show that aspirin prevents a first heart attack and the Women’s Health Study, which was the first to show that aspirin prevents a first stroke. In addition, he was the first to demonstrate that aspirin given to a patient within 24 hours after the initial symptoms of a heart attack reduces the death rate as well as further prevents heart attacks or strokes. He also demonstrated similar benefits of aspirin given to patients who survived a blockage in the heart, brain or legs. Hennekens has received numerous awards and honors, including the James D. Bruce Memorial Award from the American College of Physicians, Duncan Clark Award from the American Teachers of Preventive Medicine, and First Public Health Physician of the Year Award for distinguished contributions to research and teaching in preventive medicine. In addition, Science Heroes ranked Hennekens #81 in the history of the world for having saved more than 1.1 million lives. “When you consider the medical discoveries of the past century, among the most important is Dr. Hennekens scientific proof of the benefits of aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes,” said Dr. James F. Fries, retired Stanford University professor of medicine and chairman of the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation, which awards the annual Fries Prize for Improving Health. “His discoveries have both improved and saved the lives of millions of people who follow the preventive guidelines now put into practice by doctors around the world.” Tom Friedan, MD, Director of CDC referred to the award as the “Nobel Prize in public health.” “I am humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award from the Fries Foundation,” said Hennekens. “This award is especially meaningful to me as my chief motivation to pursue an academic career in preventive cardiovascular medicine was the premature death of my beloved father from sudden cardiac death when I was 17. I am inspired by Jim and Sarah Fries for their commitment to reducing premature deaths and suffering in the United States and worldwide. To paraphrase my mentor, colleague, and friend, Professor Sir Richard Doll, ‘death is inevitable, but premature death is not.’” First presented in 1992, 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. Fries Prize recipients are awarded $60,000. The James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation is a nonprofit corporation incorporated in 1991. The mission of the Foundation is to identify and honor individuals, organizations, or institutions which have made great contributions to the health of the public. The Foundation seeks to reward accomplishment rather than promise, practicality rather than theory. Past Fries Prize winners include former surgeon general of the United States and fellow graduate of Weill-Cornell Medical College, C. Everett Koop, MD, and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where Hennekens served as Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer, William H. Foege, MD.
Harvard Medical School, or HMS, is one of the leading medical institutions in the world. Charles H. Hennekens, MD, was the first John Snow as well as the first Eugene Braunwald professor of medicine at HMS. In that role, Professor Charles H. Hennekens was an outstanding researcher, educator and clinician. Below are three ways anyone can donate to HMS and help fund the medical innovations and discoveries of its world-class faculty and students. First, Leadership giving at HMS includes current use or endowed gifts. These gifts can go to any part of HMS. Interested donors may also be given the opportunity to name campus spaces. Second, annual gifts are a great way to commit to HMS in a small but significant and committed way. Giving annually is comprised of multiple initiatives, including the Friends of Harvard Medicine, the Alumni Fund, and Reunion giving. Learn more about annual giving at hms.harvard.edu. Third, corporation giving is a great option for corporations or foundations to donate larger sums of money to HMS. Corporation-funded grants support cutting edge research at HMS while also forming a mutually beneficial partnership.
The Fries Prize for Improving Health is awarded for major accomplishments in health improvement, unrestricted as to field, with emphasis upon 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 that individual who has done the most to improve health, as judged by an expert and prestigious Selection Jury. It is awarded for achievement, rather than potential. The Prize could be awarded to an educator, a scientist, a program inventor, an activist, a public figure, a private citizen, or any other person who has made a significant contribution to improvement of the public health. Charles H. Hennekens, MD, is the 2013 recipient of this award, which he received for his preventing over 1.1 million premature deaths. As a recipient, Professor Charles H. Hennekens underwent a rigorous nomination and selection process. The first step to nominate someone for the Fries Prize is to submit a summary. This is the first page of the nomination. A summary is comprised of the individual’s title, information about the nominator, and a brief overview of the individual’s qualifications for the prize. Next, the nominator should provide a description of the area of study in which the nominee is involved. This is to be much more specific than the overview on the first page and should comprise the entire second page. Finally, nominators need to provide supporting materials. Supporting materials include two letters of support or recommendation, a resume or CV, and a bibliography of the nominee’s publications, if appropriate. Learn more about nominating someone for the Fries Prize for Improving Health at www.friesfoundation.org.