Skip to Main Content

The Winslow Medal

The C.-E. A. Winslow medal commemorates the outstanding contributions of Charles-Edward Amory Winslow, the founder of our School, and many would say the founder of modern public health in the United States. The recipients' work exemplifies C.-E. A. Winslow's ideals, especially his concern for the social factors affecting health as well as outstanding achievement in public health leadership, scholarship or contribution to society.

Past Recipients

The C.-E. A. Winslow Award was created in 1999 to recognize leading innovators in the public health profession. It is the Yale School of Public Health's highest honor.

Kimberlé Crenshaw, JD, LLM, 2023

Kimberlé Crenshaw is a prominent law professor and civil rights scholar whose work is foundational in two fields of study that she coined and developed: critical race theory and intersectionality.

A sought-after speaker and conductor of workshops and training, she divides her time between Columbia Law School, where she is the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, co-founder and executive director of the African American Policy Forum, and founding director of the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies; and UCLA Law School, where she is a distinguished law professor and Promise Institute Chair in Human Rights. Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality” – the ways in which systems of inequality based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, class, and other forms of discrimination “intersect” to create unique dynamics and effects – in a 1989 paper she wrote for the University of Chicago Legal Forum as a way to help explain the oppression of African American women.

She is the founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory workshop, which she launched at Columbia in 1989, and the co-editor of the volume Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement (1996), and she authored the background paper on race and gender discrimination for the United Nations World Conference on Racism in 2001. She is a leading voice in calling for a gender-inclusive approach to racial-justice interventions, having spearheaded the Why We Can’t Wait campaign, co-authored the 2015 report Black Girls Matter: Poshed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected, and co-authored the 2016 book Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women, which documents and draws attention to the killing of Black women and girls by police.

Linda S. Birnbaum, PhD, 2022

Linda S. Birnbaum, PhD, was the first toxicologist and first woman to head the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) at the National institutes of Health (NIH). She is a scientist emerita at NIH and a scholar-in-residence at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Dr. Birnbaum was honored with the Winslow Medal for her foundational work regarding the health hazards of persistent organic pollutants, mechanisms of action of toxic environmental contaminants, endocrine disruption, and linking real-world exposures to human health problems. During her distinguished career, she led the paradigm development that that all health is an integration of both genes and environment. Dr. Birnbaum was among the first scientists to demonstrate that early-life contaminant exposure was associated with adverse health effects in children.

Dr. Birnbaum spent 19 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where she directed the largest division focusing on environmental health research. She continues to provide national and international leadership in the investigation of potential health hazards associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, more commonly known as PFAS. She also developed a vigorous program in community engagement and involvement in all environmental health studies. She has led the Toxicology Division of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the American Aging Association, the Society of Toxicology, and the International Union of Toxicology. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Judith Rodin, PhD, 2015

Judith Rodin is president of The Rockefeller Foundation, one of the world’s leading philanthropic organizations. In her Centennial Winslow address, she presented a vision for planetary health for the next century to sustain and advance human health.

Rodin was previously president of the University of Pennsylvania, and provost of Yale University. Since joining the Foundation in 2005, Dr. Rodin has recalibrated its focus to meet the challenges of the 21st century and to support and shape innovations to expand opportunity worldwide and build greater resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses.

A widely recognized international leader in academia, science, and development issues, Dr. Rodin has actively participated in influential global forums, including the World Economic Forum, the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton Global Initiative, and the United Nations General Assembly. Dr. Rodin is also a member of the African Development Bank’s High Level Panel and a Board member of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (co-created by The Rockefeller Foundation). In November 2012, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo named Dr. Rodin to co-chair the NYS 2100 Commission on long-term resilience following Superstorm Sandy.

Anthony S. Fauci, MD 2015

A centennial recipient of the award, Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health. Since his appointment as NIAID director in 1984, Dr. Fauci has overseen an extensive research portfolio devoted to preventing, diagnosing, and treating infectious and immune-mediated diseases. Dr. Fauci also is chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, where he has made numerous important discoveries related to HIV/AIDS and is one of the most-cited scientists in the field. Dr. Fauci serves as one of the key advisors to the White House and Department of Health and Human Services on global AIDS issues, and on initiatives to bolster medical and public health preparedness against emerging infectious disease threats such as pandemic influenza. He was one of the principal architects of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has already been responsible for saving millions of lives throughout the developing world. Dr. Fauci is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his scientific and global health accomplishments, including the National Medal of Science, the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has been awarded 42 honorary doctoral degrees and is the author, coauthor, or editor of more than 1,270 scientific publications, including several major textbooks.

Sir Michael Marmot, 2015

A centennial recipient of the Winslow award, Sir Michael Marmot has led research groups on health inequalities for over 35 years. He was Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), which was set up by the World Health Organization in 2005, and produced the report entitled: ‘Closing the Gap in a Generation’ in August 2008. He conducted a Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010, which published its report 'Fair Society, Healthy Lives' in February 2010. This was followed by the European Review of Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide, for WHO Euro. He chaired the Breast Screening Review for the NHS National Cancer Action Team and was a member of The Lancet-University of Oslo Commission on Global Governance for Health. He is a Principal Investigator of the Whitehall II Studies of British Civil Servants, investigating explanations for the striking inverse social gradient in morbidity and mortality. He leads the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and is engaged in several international research efforts on the social determinants of health. In 2000 he was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen, for services to epidemiology and the understanding of health inequalities.

Sir Iain Chalmers, 2010

Sir Iain Chalmers founded the Cochrane Collaboration, which has become the leading creator and repository of systematic reviews of evidence-based health care across the entire medical and public health spectrum, was awarded the Winslow Medal in 2010. Today, the Cochrane Collaboration is now a consortium of some 20,000 researchers in 52 review groups. Earlier in this career, Sir Iain trained as an obstetrician, and was responsible for establishing the UK National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, which became the leading research center for studies of pregnant women and infants in Europe. In 2003, he founded the James Lind Library on which he serves as the founding editor. During his career, Sir Iain has published several hundred papers and books. “Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth” is widely recognized as being the first evidence based text book in any medical specialty. “Systematic Reviews” remains the leading text in this area after several editions.

William Foege, 2004

William H. Foege, M.D., emeritus Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health at the Emory School of Public Health, received the Winslow Medal in 2004. Foege joined the Smallpox Eradication/Measles Control Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1966 and directed the Smallpox Eradication Program in 1970. The global vaccination campaign led to the eradication of smallpox in the late 1970s. As director of the CDC from 1977 to 1983, he steered the agency during the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Foege also formed the Task Force for Child Survival and Development in 1984 to accelerate childhood immunization rates and in 1991 broadened its mandate to include other issues that diminish a child’s quality of life. Foege is a fellow of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and his research has been featured in over 125 professional publications.

Sir Richard Doll, 2000

Sir Richard Doll, who died in 2005 at the age of 93, received the inaugural Winslow Medal during Yale’s Tercentennial celebration in 2000. Sir Richard is credited with identifying smoking as a leading cause of lung cancer 50 years ago. In over 400 publications, he also made major contributions to the understanding of peptic ulcer disease, the role of radiation on leukemia amongst survivors of Hiroshima, the effects of oral contraception and the role of occupational and environmental factors on disease, including the link between asbestos and lung cancer. He also studied the connection between diet and heart disease. Sir Richard directed the United Kingdom Medical Research Council’s Statistical Unit and was a professor of medicine at the University of Oxford where he directed the Cancer Epidemiology and Clinical Trials Unit. He was knighted in 1971.

Who was C.-E. A. Winslow?

C.-E. A. Winslow was born in 1877. He received his bachelors and masters of science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in 1898 and 1899 respectively. He then taught at the University of Chicago, the College of the City of New York, Columbia University and at Yale. Winslow also served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Bacteriology and as editor of the American Journal of Public Health. He was a member of the American Red Cross Mission to Russia and president of the American Public Health Association.

At Yale, he was Professor and Chairman of the University’s Department of Public Health at its inception in 1915. This was made possible through receipt by the University of an endowment from the Anna M.R. Lauder family to establish a chair in public health in the Medical School. In the course of Winslow's 30-year tenure as Professor and Chair, he brought Yale, the department which he led and himself considerable international and national distinction, public favor and acclaim. From his strategic position within a major medical school, Winslow developed his department as a premier educational institution from which went forth, not only students with the Master's and Doctoral degrees of Public Health, but also medical students imbued with a "preventive spirit." In the first ten years of his tenure as Chair, Winslow established a comprehensive non-medical program that graduated 18 students with a Certificate in Public Health, 10 with a Ph.D., and 4 with a Dr.P.H. In fact, the Yale University School of Medicine was the first academic institution to recognize the importance of public health and establish a degree-granting program in the field.

Winslow sought to move the field of public health in new directions, based upon his belief that public health was not a static discipline, or a sanitary science but rather a social science. According to Winslow's view, public health was emergent, optimal and mutable. It included not only infectious disease control, but also the prevention and control of heart disease, cancer, stroke, mental illness, the diseases of infancy and those diseases associated with poverty. Public health, he wrote, encompassed medical and nursing services and the development of "the social machinery to ensure to every individual a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health."

During Winslow's thirty years at Yale, some important evolutionary changes occurred in areas of importance to public health. Hygiene developed into preventive medicine; bacteriology evolved into microbiology to include parasitology and virology; classic epidemiology expanded to include clinical epidemiology; control of communicable diseases became chronic disease control; and public health assimilated the social dimensions of sickness and health and appropriated such disciplines as medical economics and medical care organization. In 1946, the program Winslow started was accredited as a school of public health by the Council on Education for Public Health.

Due to Winslow’s innovative foresight and determination, many of the advances made in public health nationally and internationally during the last fifty years were a result of contributions made by Yale faculty, such as John Rodman Paul, Dorothy Horstmann, Jim Niederman, John Thompson, Max Theiler and Jordi Casals. The evolution of EPH has continued in more recent decades, building upon the intellectual vision of Winslow.

America's Town Meeting of the Air - Does America Need Compulsory Health Insurance

January 15, 1940. Recorded in Town Hall, New York City, NBC. C.-E.A. Winslow's Opening Statement.