The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will honor former Georgia Congressman Edward R. Roybal on July 12 by dedicating its main campus to him and by presenting him with the Champion of Prevention Award, CDC's most prestigious award.
"All his life, no matter where or at what level he sat, Edward R. Roybal has made the public's health his personal and professional priority," said CDC director Jeffrey P. Koplan. "His leadership has prevented the illness and death of many Americans. Together, Edward R. Roybal and CDC are building for America's public health future."
During his tenure in Congress (19631992), Rep. Roybal served as a champion for public health and was responsible for securing funding for every new CDC building in the last decade, including the new infectious disease laboratory currently under construction. Today, CDC is implementing a 10-year master plan that will replace old laboratories and build new facilities, bringing all employees from 23 locations in Atlanta onto CDC's two campuses: the Edward R. Roybal campus on Clifton Road and the Chamblee campus on Buford Highway.
Rep. Roybal's own career began as a public health educator with the California Tuberculosis Association and later as director of Health Education for the Los Angeles County TB and Health Association. As a member of Congress, Rep. Roybal not only secured funding for needed laboratories and facilities but also for research, including CDC's first funding for AIDS research and programs in 1982.
CDC's prestigious Champion of Prevention Award is reserved for individuals who have made significant contributions to public health. Past recipients include Rotary International (for its worldwide efforts to eradicate polio), Dr. Phil Lee, Ann Landers, M. Alfred Haynes, and Sen. Sam Nunn. CDC's research and programs address infectious disease, chronic disease, environmental health, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, injuries, and immunizations.