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Gail Christopher to Be Honored with Terrance Keenan Award

December 16, 2014

Washington, DC — Gail Christopher, Vice President for Policy and Senior Advisor at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will receive Grantmakers In Health's Gail_Christopher_TK_2015(GIH) 2015 Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy. The award pays tribute to health grantmakers whose work is distinguished by leadership, innovation, and outstanding achievement.

A pioneer and visionary, Dr. Christopher has spearheaded programs that take a broad view of health and well-being and the multiple factors that shape them. Among her major contributions to philanthropy and social justice is leading Kellogg's America Healing initiative, an effort to combat racism by focusing on equity and healing and to dismantle structural inequities that limit opportunities for vulnerable populations. America Healing is considered one of the largest commitments of a national foundation to address racism directly.

"Gail Christopher embodies the exceptional qualities sought in any recipient of The Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy," says Kathy Ko Chin, President and CEO of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, who nominated Dr. Christopher for the award. "Her broad vision and focus on health and well-being for all children, families, neighborhoods, and communities have achieved significant outcomes— the approaches being systemic in design and implementation, and comprehensive in scope."

Dr. Christopher's distinguished career includes developing PLACE MATTERS, a national initiative of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' Health Policy Institute, which aims to improve the health of communities by addressing social conditions that lead to poor health. Her leadership for a national policy platform for healthy food and nutrition has led it to be recognized as a critical health issue for whole child development. She is also a champion of integrative health, which utilizes conventional and complementary medicine practices to address the range of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental influences that affect health.

Dr. Christopher is Board President of the Trust for America's Health and in 2005 was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as a voting member of the bipartisan Commission on Medicaid Reform. The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) named  Dr. Christopher an Honorary Fellow in 2009-- the highest recognition given to a non-SOPHE member who has made significant contributions to health education and to public health. In 2012 she received the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs John C. MacQueen Lecture Award for her innovation and leadership in the field of maternal and child health. She earned a doctor of naprapathy from the Chicago National College of Naprapathy and completed advanced study in holistic health and clinical nutrition at the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities at Union Graduate School of Cincinnati, Ohio.

GIH established the Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in 1993 in honor of Terrance Keenan and his more than 40 years of service and contributions to health philanthropy. GIH will present the award to Dr. Christopher at its annual conference, March 4-6 in Austin, Texas.

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