Fries Prize awarded to three organizations for first time

Photo credit: CDC Foundation

Three health organizations, including two W.K Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) grantees, were awarded the Fries Prize for Improving Health at the American Public Health Association’s annual event in November. WKKF grantees the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), along with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), were recognized for honoring and saving millions of lives during the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021. ASTHO represents public health agencies across the country, and BCHC is a forum of leaders from America’s largest metropolitan health departments.

The Fries Prize for Improving Health honors individuals who have made significant accomplishments in health improvement, with emphasis on recent contributions to health in the United States. This was the first time in nearly 30 years the prize was awarded to organizations, not individuals, recognizing how collective action across institutions has immediate and long-term positive impacts on public health. 

Collaboration saves lives 

In 2020, BCHC and ASTHO developed a PSA campaign to encourage people across the country to practice compassion and #MaskUp. The PSA was essential for shifting the narrative and deepening understanding of the spread of COVID. Because of the collaborative and cross-sector focus of the organizations, the PSA and critical information was amplified and shared by doctors, health officials, communities, and the general public nationwide. 

The alliance of essential organizations and nonprofits across the country meant they were able to take swift, collective action to build a concentrated public health campaign that likely saved millions of lives. 

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