The award for distinguished contributions in health policy, established in 2008, recognizes an individual who has created evidence through their own research and/or applied evidence and experience through their public service, community service, or advocacy to promote significant policy change in the health system to improve the health of the public and eliminate health disparities. 

Eligibility Requirements

Award candidates demonstrating extraordinary contributions in health policy must be nominated via the Nominations Committee’s process (see Application Process below). The awardee must be available to accept the award in-person at the Academy’s Anniversary Discourse and Awards ceremony in November.

Application Process

During the first quarter of the year, a message is sent on behalf of the Nominations Committee to all Academy Fellows and Members soliciting nominations for the Academy’s five annual awards that are bestowed at the Annual Meeting of the Fellows and Discourse and Awards Ceremony in November. The task of the Nominations Committee is to recommend a list of nominees (two individuals per award, allowing for an alternate in case the first choice is unable to attend the November meeting) based on the submitted nominations. The nominees are discussed at great length and it is decided as a group which two names for each award should be advanced for consideration—there is the first candidate and then an alternate if the first choice cannot accept. The Academy President, Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, extends the invitations to those selected. 

Award Information

The award recipient accepts the event in-person at the Academy’s Anniversary Discourse and Awards ceremony in November.


Previous Recipients 
  • 2016 David Blumenthal
  • 2015 Margaret A. Hamburg
  • 2014 Uwe Reinhardt
  • 2013 Carolyn M. Clancy
  • 2012 Karen Davis
  • 2011 Vivian Pinn
  • 2010 Ada Sue Hinshaw
  • 2009 John E. Wennberg
  • 2008 John K. Iglehart