Sabin Vaccine Institute to Honor Pharmaceutical Executive, CHF Founders and University President at New York City Benefit Dinner
Wyeth’s Bernard Poussot to Be Recognized for Achievement; Children’s Health Fund Founders Paul Simon and Dr. Irwin Redlener, George Washington University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg to Receive Humanitarian Awards
NEW CANAAN, CT—The Sabin Vaccine Institute presents its highest non-science awards on May 14 to four illustrious groundbreakers in business, social service, and academia. One is the leader of one of the world’s premier pharmaceutical companies, two are collaborators in starting an organization to benefit the nation’s medically underserved children, and a fourth is a prominent university president. The presentation will take place at the Institute’s benefit dinner at The Pierre Hotel in New York City.
Bernard Poussot, executive vice president of Wyeth and president of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, will receive the Sabin Lifetime Achievement Award. Singer/songwriter Paul Simon and Irwin Redlener, MD, associate dean and director of the National Center on Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, co-founders of The Children’s Health Fund, will jointly receive the Institute’s Humanitarian Award. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president of The George Washington University, will also receive a Humanitarian Award.
“For the first time in the history of these awards, the work of four individuals has been brought to the Institute’s attention all within the same year and we are thrilled to honor each of them for exemplifying these prestigious Sabin prizes,” said H.R. Shepherd, Chairman of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Shepherd extolled the achievements and service of each of the recipients of this year’s honors:
“Bernard Poussot is being recognized with our lifetime achievement award. His accomplishments and corporate leadership at Wyeth are characterized by energy and vision. Over the past decade, Wyeth has been a leader in the development and introduction of a variety of vaccines, biologics, and small molecules targeted at a wide range of important health problems. Just one of the numerous products that the company has nurtured through the intricate research and development process is Prevnar, the first conjugate vaccine to help prevent invasive pneumococcal disease. Recently, Prevnar has been recognized for its impact on reducing the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease on the general U.S population. A company with achievements that contribute in such an essential and tangible way to the well being of humankind requires the bold leadership of dedicated executives such as Bernard Poussot,” said Shepherd. Poussot will deliver acceptance remarks during the May 14 ceremony.
Shepherd commented on the joint recipients of a 2003 Sabin Humanitarian Award: “When Paul Simon was kicking some cobblestones along a New York City street, he saw impoverishment and a health crisis for kids he encountered even amid the power and wealth of this great city. As he has done in his music, he turned that life experience into something with lasting meaning. Joining forces with one of the nation’s leading visionary pediatricians and child advocates, Dr. Irwin Redlener, Paul Simon and Dr. Redlener founded an organization to help many of the medically underserved children of our country. For their consummate humanity in the face of a growing need, they are truly deserving of this year’s Sabin Humanitarian Award.” Dr. Redlener will be on hand to accept the award and deliver an acceptance speech.
“Navigating the rise of an established and recognized academic institution to far greater heights of excellence and prestige is no mean feat, particularly in the nation’s capital where a lesser figure would become overpowered by the politics and peculiarities that can impede progress. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg has overcome any such limitations and has in his tenure as president of The George Washington University brought new glory to the University, as any visit to the campus will quickly reveal,” Shepherd said. Not only are students today benefiting from his many progressive initiatives, but the city has been uplifted by his scholarship program for promising District of Columbia public school students and projects he has directly initiated, not the least of which includes the new GW Hospital and the University’s new Health and Wellness Center. Trachtenberg has written a series of books on his tenure as university president, which include illustrative examples of the humanitarian ideals for which he is being honored with the Sabin Humanitarian Award. The University is home to Sabin Institute’s research to discover a vaccine against human hookworm infection.
The awards dinner is a benefit for the Sabin Vaccine Institute. The benefit chair is Geno Germano of Wyeth, with William R. Berkeley of W.R. Berkley Corporation serving as co-chair. A complimentary highlight of the evening will be a recognition of “vaccine heroes” featuring six of the ten recipients of the prestigious scientific award—the Sabin Gold Medal—conferred annually by the Institute. Benefit master of ceremonies, Ari Fleischer, assistant to the president and White House press secretary, will provide an introduction of the Gold Medalists.
Previous recipients of the Sabin Humanitarian Award include GlaxoSmithKline chairman and CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier, PhD; Aventis Pasteur chairman and CEO Jean-Jacques Bertrand; Mary Flake de Flores, first lady of Honduras; and Nicholas Zwick, founder of Dialogic Corporation (now part of Intel) and a philanthropist.
Previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include The Honorable Richard C. Holbrooke, Former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations; John W. Rowe, MD, chairman, president and CEO of Aetna, Inc.; and Merck & Co. CEO Raymond A. Gilmartin.
The Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute’s mission is to prevent disease by stimulating development of new vaccines and increasing immunization rates. Founded in 1993, the Institute is headquartered in New Canaan, Connecticut. The Institute pursues Albert Sabin’s vision of a world protected from disease by vaccines. Sabin Institute colloquia bring together leaders of academia, industry, government and philanthropy in a shared quest to accelerate the development of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases and to prevent and treat cancer. As an immunization advocate, it helps policy makers shape sound public health policies and informs the public about the importance of vaccinations. The Sabin Institute’s Hookworm Vaccine Initiative is working to develop a vaccine to prevent an infection that afflicts more than twenty percent of the world’s population, a leading cause of malnutrition and stunted development.
About Bernard Poussot
Bernard Poussot, Executive Vice President of Wyeth (formerly American Home Products) and President of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, joined the Company in 1986, as Deputy General Manager of Wyeth France. A year later, he was promoted to President-General Manager, Wyeth France, a position he held until 1991, when he was named head of Wyeth Europe and relocated to
St. Davids, Pennsylvania. Two years later, his responsibilities were extended to Asia and Latin America, when he was named Executive Vice President of Wyeth-Ayerst International. In 1996, he was named President of Wyeth-Ayerst International. In 1997, Mr. Poussot became President, Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals. He has been a member of the Corporate Operations Committee since 1997 and in 2001 was elected Senior Vice President of the Corporation. In 2002, he was elected to Executive Vice President of Wyeth when R&D was added to his responsibilities.
Prior to joining Wyeth, Mr. Poussot was Director of Marketing Worldwide for Searle in Chicago from 1984-1986 after being Director of Marketing and Sales for Searle France from 1981-1984. He began his career with Laboratoires Merck Sharp & Dohme in Paris in 1975 serving in various marketing positions from 1977-1980, until he became Director of a Pharmaceutical Division in 1980.
He graduated from Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris in 1975 and fulfilled his civil servant obligation as Secretary General to the Governor of Casablanca-Morocco in charge of Economic Affairs.
A resident of Villanova, Pennsylvania, Mr. Poussot serves on the Boards of the World Affairs Council, the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, the Eisenhower Fellowships, the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the French American Chamber of Commerce.
For media inquiries regarding Wyeth, contact Doug Petkus, 610-902-7336, [email protected].
About Paul Simon
It is rare that an artist who captures and expresses the sentiments of a particular era goes on to expand his horizons while remaining a powerful cultural and personal force. Paul Simon is undoubtedly among this select group. Performing with Art Garfunkel, a childhood friend, as “Simon and Garfunkel,” he was largely responsible for writing, arranging, and recording the duo’s classic folk and rock songs.
In 1972, he released his first solo album, “Paul Simon.” He produced the groundbreaking “Graceland” album in 1986. In 1998, Mr. Simon wrote and produced the Broadway musical, “The Capeman,” collaborating with poet and Nobel laureate Derek Walcott. In 2000, he released the album “You’re The One,” during which time he toured with Bob Dylan. Last year, Mr. Simon was a recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Award. Most recently, Mr. Simon wrote the song “Father and Daughter” for the animated movie “The Wild Thornberrys,” which has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.
Mr. Simon’s contributions to charitable causes attest to his commitment to civic involvement. He is co-founder of The Children’s Health Fund, bringing medical care to homeless and indigent children. He has raised money for the Nature Conservancy, the Fund for Detained and Imprisoned Children in South Africa, and AmFar. In 1989, the United Negro College Fund bestowed upon him its highest honor, the Frederick D. Patterson Award.
Mr. Simon grew up in Queens, New York, and graduated from Queens College in 1965. He has received twelve Grammy awards and various other music-related honors. MusiCares honored him recently with their 2001 Person of the Year Award, and on March 21, 2001, Paul Simon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Media contact for Mr. Simon: Dan Klores, 212-685-4300, [email protected].
About Irwin Redlener, MD
Irwin Redlener, MD is Associate Dean at the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. He directs Columbia’s National Center on Disaster Preparedness and a special initiative on public health advocacy. He is jointly appointed at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Dr. Redlener is also president and co-founder of The Children’s Health Fund, a philanthropic initiative created to develop and support health care programs for medically underserved children.
Previously Dr. Redlener had a lead role in the development of the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, where he served as president and chief spokesperson. The nationally acclaimed New York Children’s Health Project, the country’s largest health care program for homeless children, was developed in 1987 by Dr. Redlener. It is the model for a number of innovative health care projects in The Children’s Health Fund’s program network for disadvantaged child populations in 15 urban and rural communities across the country.
In his role as pediatrician-child advocate, Dr. Redlener has published, spoken and testified extensively on the subjects of health care for homeless and indigent children, child abuse and neglect and national health policy. Since September 2001, Dr. Redlener has spoken widely on preparedness with regard to chemical, biological and nuclear terrorism. He has worked to develop national protocols around prevention of and response to the effects of exposure of children to weapons of terror.
Dr. Redlener helped organize and continues to serve on the Task Force on Terrorism of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the pediatric disaster committee of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals. He has also been co-chairman of the Healthy Start Advisory Group for America’s Promise: The Alliance for Youth and served a two year term as Chairman of the National Advisory Council on the National Health Service Corps.
Dr. Redlener received his M.D. from the University of Miami School of Medicine, and pediatric training at Babies Hospital of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, the University of Colorado Medical Center and the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. He holds an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Hunter College of the City University of New York, among numerous other awards and honors.
Dr. Redlener and his wife Karen, Director of the New York Children’s Health Project, have grown children and two grandchildren.
For media inquiries regarding CHF, contact: Stacey Harris, 212-535-9400, ext. 244., [email protected].
About Stephen Joel Trachtenberg
Stephen Joel Trachtenberg is the 15th president of The George Washington University since its founding in 1821. At The George Washington University since 1988, President Trachtenberg was previously president and professor of public administration for 11 years at the University of Hartford. Prior to that, he was for eight years at Boston University as Dean of Arts and Sciences and Vice President.
During the Johnson Administration, President Trachtenberg was special assistant to the U.S. Education Commissioner, Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Preceding his academic career, he was an attorney for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and an aide to a U.S. Congressman. President Trachtenberg’s books and articles in academic and lay journals have received wide acclaim. Recognition for his contributions to education includes numerous awards and honorary degrees. Last year he was elected a Fellow in the nation’s preeminent learned society, The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
For the past three years, President Trachtenberg has chaired the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee for Maryland and the District of Columbia. In 2002 he received the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Medal of Merit. In 2000 King Mohammed VI of Morocco decorated him as a “Grand Officier Du Wissam Al Alaoui.” In 1997 the U.S. State Department gave him its Distinguished Public Service Award. In 1995 Columbia University honored him with their John Jay Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement.
President Trachtenberg is chair-elect of the District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce and also serves on the boards of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Urban League of Greater Washington, the D.C. Federal City Council, and Riggs Bank. He has been appointed by the city’s Mayor to serve on the District of Columbia Tax Revision Commission, as well as the District of Columbia Committee to Promote Washington. He serves on the boards of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Executive Panel and the International Association of University Presidents. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1988, he was elected to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Presidents Commission.
A member of Phi Beta Kappa, President Trachtenberg earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in 1959, the Juris Doctor from Yale University in 1962 and the Master of Public Administration from Harvard University in 1966. He is married, and he and his wife, Francine Zorn Trachtenberg, have two sons.