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PR Newswire (U.S.)

Former U.S. Surgeon General Novello Is Named National Hispanic Scientist Of The Year By MOSI

April 28, 2004
Copyright ©2004 PR Newswire Association LLC. All rights reserved.

TAMPA, Fla., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Antonia Coello Novello, former Surgeon General of the United States and current New York Health Commissioner, has been named 2004 National Hispanic Scientist of the Year by Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), and was honored today by MOSI president Wit Ostrenko and board member Maruchi Azorin-Blanco.

MOSI initiated the national award in 2001 to recognize outstanding national Hispanic scientists who promote a greater public understanding of science and motivate Hispanic youths' interest in science. The award will be presented to Novello at a ceremony and banquet Oct. 23, 2004 in Tampa.

"I can't believe that a young girl from Puerto Rico has received such a prestigious award," exclaimed Dr. Novello upon learning of the honor. "It goes to show you that hard work, studying and believing in yourself can help you attain your dreams."

Born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Dr. Novello received her B.S. degree from the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras and her M.D. from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine at San Juan. She completed her internship and residency in pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor and remained there on a pediatric nephrology fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. Subsequently, she spent a second year on a pediatric nephrology fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics at Georgetown University and from 1976 to 1978, she was in private practice in pediatrics in Springfield, VA.

Novello joined the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 1978 and was assigned as a project officer at the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism and Digestive Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). From there, she served as Deputy Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and also as Coordinator for AIDS Research for NICHD. She earned an M.P.H. and a Dr. P.H. degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She holds clinical professorships of Pediatrics in various medical schools, among them Georgetown and the University of Michigan. She is also a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha, and the Institute of Medicine. She is the recipient of 50 honorary degrees.

Making history as the first woman and the first Hispanic to hold the position, she was appointed Surgeon General by President George Bush in 1990. During her tenure, she focused her attention on the health of women, children and minorities, as well as on underage drinking, smoking, and AIDS. She played an important role in launching the Healthy Children Ready to Learn Initiative, and was instrumental in developing the DHHS Hispanic Health Agenda.

MOSI's National Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award is one of many honors bestowed upon Dr. Novello. She has been the recipient of:

* Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Medallion and Medal

* USPHS Distinguished Service Medal

* US Army Legion of Merit

* US Coast Guard Meritorious Medal

* US Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award

* American Medical Association Nathan B. Davis Award

* Congressional Hispanic Caucus Medal

* Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars Award and the University Alumni Association's Woodrow Wilson Award for Distinguished Government Service

* Elizabeth Blackwell Award

* University of Michigan Medical Center Alumni Award & Alumna Council Athena Award

* Public Health Service Commissioned Officer's Association Health Leader of the Year Award

* Charles C. Shepard Science Award for Scientific Excellence

* American Medical Women's Association Leadership Award

* National Council of La Raza President's Award

* American Academy of Pediatrics Excellence in Public Service Award

* Healthy American Fitness Leaders Award

* National Women's Hall of Fame

* Ronald McDonald Children's Charities Award of Excellence

* Miami Children's Hospital International Hall of Fame

Having served as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Special Representative for Health and Nutrition, and Visiting Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, in 1999 Dr. Novello became Commissioner of Health for the State of New York, a position that she currently holds.

The proceeds of MOSI's National Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award Gala will fund scholarships that will mentor Hispanic boys and girls in MOSI's Youth Enriched by Science (YES!) Team program. This program offers young people in grades 7 - 12, as well as in college, an opportunity to participate in a tiered-mentoring, career-ladder, educational enrichment and vocational training program. Established in 1991, the YES! Team was designed to help at- risk youth develop and progress in a supportive peer-group environment. The focus of the YES! Team program is to help increase the youth's self-esteem and self-confidence by providing intellectual challenges, vocational skills, employment experience, and other related opportunities for individual accomplishments and personal development.

The National Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award is sponsored by Bright House Networks, TECO Energy Inc., and Outback Steakhouse.

MOSI, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational institution, is the largest science center in the southeastern United States and home of the only IMAX(R) Dome Theatre in the state of Florida. In all, MOSI offers more than 450 "minds-on" interactive activities. MOSI is located at 4801 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, opens daily at 9 a.m., is wheelchair accessible, and offers free parking. For more information, visit MOSI's Web site at or call (813) 987-6100.

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