FIU announces 2014 Path Award winners

Florida International University’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work announced today the winners of the 2014 Path Awards.

The annual Path Awards recognize distinguished individuals in public health, social work, and dietetics for their contributions and commitment to promoting and protecting the health and welfare of South Florida. The Stempel and Path Award winners will be honored at a luncheon to be held at Jungle Island on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.


Brian Keeley, CEO of Baptist Health South Florida, will receive the Stempel Award for lifetime achievement for outstanding and life-changing contributions he has made to the public health and social welfare of South Florida.

“Mr. Keeley has been a leader in improving our South Florida health systems and in conjunction with Baptist Health has made many outstanding contributions,” said Michele Ciccazzo, Dean of the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work .“With his leadership and the innovative programs developed by Baptist Health, the quality of life in South Florida has been immeasurably enhanced.”

The 2014 Path Awards winners, their organizations and their respective categories are:

  • Community Leadership Award: Berta Blecke, Board of Trustee of Our Kids, for her lifetime contribution to the public health and welfare of the community through leadership and vision.
  • Pathfinder Award: Scott Pridgen, CEO/Executive Director of A. H. of Monroe County, Inc. and Subsidiaries for his unique contributions to Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work’s educational mission and the path he has created for others to follow.
  • Innovation Award: Chapman Partnership for its innovative responses to emerging health and social challenges.
  • Advocacy Award: Olga A. Connor, Director of Communication and Legislative Affairs at the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County, for her work promoting health policies to improve public health, access to quality healthcare, and the rights of patients.
  • Social Wellbeing Award: Lisa Schejola-Akin, Director of the Carlo & Micol Schejola Foundation, for the work she has done to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities through research, policy changes, interventions and education.
  • Disease Prevention Award: Brenda Marty-Jimenez, County Extension Director,  Consumer & Family Nutrition Program, University of Florida – IFAS, Broward County Extension, for her work in preventing infectious and chronic diseases through research, surveillance, and behavior change.
  • Environmental Health Award: Dr. Asit Sarkar, Program Manager – Lead & Healthy Homes Program at the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County, for his work protecting and improving public health by addressing risk factors in the natural and built environment.

FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work is committed to recognizing outstanding South Floridians who are working to improve and maintain the health of the community. The Path awards raise the community’s awareness of the contributions made by public health, social work and dietetics professionals.

For more information, visit the Path Awards website.

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