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Date:  Oct. 11, 2010

for immediate release

Crusader Against Substance Abuse Receives Institute of Medicine's 2010 Lienhard Award

 

WASHINGTON  -- The Institute of Medicine today presented the 2010 Gustav O. Lienhard Award to Joseph A. Califano Jr., founder and chairman of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University and former U.S. secretary of health, education, and welfare.  The award honors Califano for his leadership in catalyzing federal action to curb smoking and his broader efforts to reduce the toll of addiction and substance abuse, as well as for his contributions to improving public health in general.

 

As the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) -- the forerunner of today's departments of Health and Human Services and Education and the Social Security Administration -- Califano spearheaded a slew of major health initiatives during the Carter administration.  Under his guidance, the agency launched a national campaign to promote childhood immunization, and it provided the first federal funding for hospice care through Medicare, which made this form of end-of-life care readily accessible to many more people.  Califano also worked with Surgeon General Julius Richmond to issue the first Healthy People report, which established the first set of national health goals for the American population.  He directed the Public Health Service to eliminate its official classification of homosexuality as a mental disease or defect, which had allowed immigration authorities to deny individuals entry to the United States solely because of their sexual orientation.  He also grappled with policy issues around the evolving technologies of in vitro fertilization and recombinant DNA.  But Califano is best-known for spurring federal action to reduce and prevent tobacco use.  While the links between smoking and disease had been laid out in a 1964 surgeon general's report, it was under Califano's leadership in the late 1970s that HEW began to proactively implement policies and steps to curb smoking, including encouraging physicians to counsel their patients to quit smoking and to give up the habit themselves, and making HEW a smoke-free workplace. 

 

Califano's efforts to reduce the damage caused by addiction have continued with his leadership of CASA, which he founded in 1992 to promote awareness, treatment, and prevention of substance abuse of all kinds.  The organization's research promotes understanding of substance abuse as a chronic disease, a critical step to gaining insurance coverage for treatment and overcoming its stigma.  Based on CASA's research showing that provision of treatment in criminal justice and welfare systems reduces recidivism and saves money, Illinois introduced a comprehensive strategy in its prison system that has been credited with substantial reductions in prisoner relapses, and other states are considering similar reforms.  Califano has authored several books on addiction, including his latest, How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid -- The Straight Dope for Parents, and High Society -- How Substance Abuse Ravages America and What to Do About It.

 

"Joseph Califano is a leader who gets things done, as evidenced by the many accomplishments that mark his career," said Institute of Medicine President Harvey V. Fineberg.  "He is a compassionate individual who has worked hard to improve the health of disadvantaged groups, including poor children, people with mental illness, and individuals grappling with addiction.  And he is a courageous and thoughtful man who tackled entrenched interests and championed significant changes in federal policy on tobacco use."

 

Prior to his appointment as HEW secretary, Califano served as a special assistant for domestic affairs to President Lyndon B. Johnson, working on a variety of domestic issues, including health care, environmental and urban problems, economic policy, and civil rights.  He also served in several roles within the U.S. Department of Defense, including acting as the principal legal adviser to the U.S. delegation to the Investigating Committee of the Organization of American States on the Panama riots of January 1964.  Subsequently, he was selected to present the U.S. case before the International Commission of Jurists during hearings on the riots.  In recognition of his work as general counsel of the Department of the Army, the Army awarded Califano the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, its highest civilian award.  He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of the Department of Defense, its highest award, in recognition of his service as special assistant to the secretary and deputy secretary of defense.  Between public appointments, he worked at several notable law firms and represented The Washington Post and its reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein throughout the Watergate controversy.  In the early 1980s, he served as special counsel to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, leading the investigation of allegations of drug use and sexual misconduct involving members of Congress and pages. 

 

Califano received a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.  He was elected to the Instiute of Medicine in 1990.

 

Califano is the 25th recipient of the Lienhard Award, which includes a medal and $40,000 prize.  The annual award recognizes outstanding national achievement in improving personal health care services in the United States.  Nominees are eligible for consideration without regard to education or profession, and award recipients are selected by a committee of experts convened by the Institute of Medicine.  This year's selection committee was chaired by Stephen M. Shortell, Blue Cross of California Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management and dean, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.  Califano will donate the prize money to CASA.

 

The Lienhard Award is funded by an endowment from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Gustav O. Lienhard was chair of the foundation's board of trustees from the organization's establishment in 1971 to his retirement in 1986 -- a period in which the foundation moved to the forefront of American philanthropy in health care.  Lienhard, who died in 1987, built his career with Johnson & Johnson, beginning as an accountant and retiring 39 years later as its president.  Additional information about the Lienhard Award can be found at www.iom.edu/lienhard.   

 

Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine provides independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public.  The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. (contacts listed below)

Contacts:  Christine Stencel, Senior Media Relations Officer

Christopher White, Media Relations Assistant

Office of News and Public Information

202-334-2138; e-mail <news@nas.edu>

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