CDC’s Dr. Thomas Frieden To Receive March Of Dimes President’s Award For Leadership On Zika

White Plains, NY | Thursday, September 15, 2016

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Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will receive the March of Dimes President’s Leadership Award for focusing national and global attention on the emergence of Zika virus and its devastating impact on pregnant women and babies.

Formally, the award is being given to Dr. Frieden for Outstanding Leadership in Combatting Zika and Raising Public Awareness of its Threat to Newborn Health.

“Dr. Frieden has tirelessly served as a champion to our congressional and executive branch leaders, stressing the critical need for the public health community to act swiftly to curtail the spread and impact of the virus,” the March of Dimes Board of Trustees citation reads.  

Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes, said, “We’re giving Dr. Frieden this President’s Leadership Award to show our gratitude for his dedication to preventing Zika virus infection during this epidemic. His decisive actions and strong voice for protecting women and families from serious birth defects caused by Zika are at the heart of our mission.”

“The March of Dimes urges everyone to know the steps they can take to stop Zika,” Dr. Howse said. “Our #ZAPzika campaign provides the essentials of Zika prevention in both English and Spanish, and we urge people to share the information with their friends.”

Zika virus causes microcephaly and other brain problems, and is linked to miscarriage and stillbirth. To learn more and get the latest resources and health information, visit our websites and

Top 5 tips to #ZAPzika

  1. Use spray, keep mosquitoes away: make sure it’s EPA-registered.
  2. Say you will, embrace the chill: use air conditioning and window screens if possible.
  3. If it’s wet, it’s a threat: remove still water.
  4. Get protected, not infected: wear clothes to prevent bites. Use a condom to prevent sexual transmission.
  5. If you suspect, then connect: call your health care provider if you are at risk of infection.
The March of Dimes President’s Leadership Award is given selectively for very high levels of achievement in the area of prevention of birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality, the mission of the March of Dimes. Previous recipients include Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for serving as the first National Chair of the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign; and Dr.  David Kessler for folic acid fortification of the nation’s grain food supply, mandated while he was Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1996.

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

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