Health Equity Advocate Barbara Israel Receives 2022 Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award


ATLANTE, March 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Barbara A. IsraelDrPH, MPH, health equity advocate, today received the 2022 Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award. Israel is a Professor in the Department of Health Behaviors and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michiganand founder and director of the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center (Detroit URC).

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This year’s award was presented virtually to Israel during the annual meeting of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), with its lecture titled “Community-Based Participatory Research: Its Social Justice Roots and Contributions to Anti-Racist Research and Practice”. The CDC Foundation along with the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation honored Israel for its pioneering work in developing community-based participatory approaches to public health education research and interventions to address inequalities health matter.

The Elizabeth Fries Award for Health Education, first presented in 1992, recognizes a health educator who has made a substantial contribution to the advancement of the field of health education or health promotion through research, program development or program delivery.

Israel has partnered with community organizations, universities, and health and human service agencies to establish and maintain the Detroit URC. the Center encourages and supports community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnerships aimed at increasing knowledge and addressing factors associated with health inequities and quality of life in Detroit. the Center was originally funded in 1995 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of their Urban Research Centers Initiative launched by CDC Director Dr. David Sacher.

Israel has been actively involved in numerous CBPR partnerships and projects examining, for example, the environmental triggers of childhood asthma and strategies to reduce them; social and physical environmental determinants of cardiovascular disease; impact of physical activity interventions on heart health; misinformation about COVID-19 and approaches to deal with it (e.g. increasing vaccination coverage); impact of air quality on health and strategies to mitigate this impact; translating research findings into policy change; and capacity building for conducting CBPR and policy advocacy.

“Dr. Israel’s research has informed the practice of CBPR and demonstrated his contributions to basic etiological research and interventions that address the social and environmental determinants of cardiovascular health, asthma, and health inequalities, thereby building capacity to inform policies that promote health equity, said Cleopatra CaldwellPhD, Professor and Director, Department of Health Behaviors and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, who helped champion Israel’s bid for the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Prize. “His continued contributions to the field should build on and further enhance our knowledge and understanding in these areas of critical importance to the field of health education and health promotion.”

Israel is the editor of Community-based participatory research methods for health, now in its second edition, an essential text in the training of health education and promotion professionals. While the CBPR approach was known to only a handful of public health researchers when the Detroit URC began, the success of the Center and a number of other CBPR partnerships across the country have elevated CBPR to what former U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin dit is now “the preferred model for conducting research in communities”. There are currently hundreds of CBPR partnerships around the world, and many government health agencies and private foundations now require recipients of many of their funding initiatives to take a CBPR approach.

Israel has published numerous articles in areas such as the development, implementation and evaluation of CBPR partnerships; social and physical environmental determinants of health and health inequalities; the relationship between stress, social support, control, and physical and mental health; and evaluation research methodologies.

She has received several prestigious honors, including the American Journal of Health Promotion Game Changer Designation, the Spirit of Detroit Award, SOPHE’s Distinguished Fellow Award, the American Public Health Association’s Early Career Award, Public Health Education and Promotion section, and several awards University of Michigan including the Distinguished Service Award, Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award, Eugene Feingold Diversity Award, and Excellence in Teaching Award.

“Dr. Israel has had a profound impact not only on the health of people in Detroit but also in the conceptualization and implementation of community-based participatory research,” said Martha Katz, MPA, Chairman, Board of Trustees of the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation. “We are grateful for her contributions and honored to present her with the Elizabeth Fries Award for Health Education.”

The Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award was named in memory of Elizabeth Frieswho was a professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University and co-director of the Massey Cancer Center Outreach Program. She has made many important contributions to program development, implementation and evaluation. Recipients of the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award receive a $25,000 price. The award and conference are presented annually at the SOPHE conference, which attracts approximately 900 health education researchers, professors, practitioners and students for the latest research and practice in health education. Founded in 1950, SOPHE’s mission is to provide global leadership in health promotion and to advance the health of society.

The James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation is a nonprofit corporation incorporated in 1991. The mission of the Foundation is to identify and honor individuals, organizations, or institutions who have made great contributions to the public health. The Foundation seeks to reward achievement rather than promise, practicality rather than theory.

The CDC Foundation is honored to partner with the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation, which created and funds the award. Since 2016, the CDC Foundation has managed and administered the Fries Foundation public health award programs, which include the Fries Award for Health Improvement and the Elizabeth Fries Award for Health Education.

About the CDC Foundation
The CDC Foundation helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) save and improve lives by unleashing the power of collaboration between CDC, philanthropies, businesses, organizations, and individuals to protect health, safety and the security of America and the world. The CDC Foundation is the nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to mobilize philanthropic partners and private sector resources to support the CDC’s essential health protection mission. Since 1995, the CDC Foundation has collected over $1.6 billion and launched more than 1,200 programs impacting a variety of health threats, ranging from chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, to infectious diseases such as rotavirus and HIV, to emergency responses, including COVID-19 and Ebola. The CDC Foundation has managed hundreds of CDC-led programs in United States and in more than 160 countries last year. Learn more at and follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.



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