Grace LeMasters, PhD, professor of environmental health and epidemiology in the Department of Environmental Health, College of Medicine, UC Medical Center, was awarded the Secretary of Defense Outstanding Public Service Medal for selfless contributions to the improvement of defense operations and processes for the period January 1, 2001, to the present. The Outstanding Public Service Medal is the second highest award given by the Secretary to private citizens for superior accomplishments and contributions that merit special recognition. The Honorable Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for Health Affairs, presented the award to members of the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB) at ceremonies at Fort Detrick, Maryland on May 21.
The AFEB serves as a scientific advisory body to the Secretary of Defense through the Assistant Secretary of Defense and the military Surgeons General concerning operational programs, policy development, and research needs for the prevention of disease and injury. For over 50 years, the civilian physicians and scientists have served on the AFEB and have contributed to numerous and significant advances in the prevention and control of diseases and injuries among military men and women. The Board was conceived at the beginning of World War II and established formally by the Secretary of War on January 11, 1941. The AFEB has the responsibility to consider medical issues as they may relate to operations, policy and research, and occupational and environmental health.
Only four other members from Ohio have served on this advisory board, including Albert Sabin, MD; W.A. Altemeier, MD; Charles Aring, MD; and Morton Harnburger, Jr. MD.