The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (AHPSR) and Health Systems Global (HSG) are pleased to announce the winners of the Societal Awards in the field of Health Policy and Systems Research. The Awards were presented on 10 October 2018, during the Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, which is held from 8 to 12 October 2018 in Liverpool, UK. They are aimed at recognizing the contributions of researchers and policymakers to the field of health policy and systems research and to evidence-based policy making in health.
The Sam Adjei Distinguished Public Service Award, and Award for Lifetime Service to the field of HPSR, were jointly presented by the Chair of AHPSR Board, Professor David Peters and Chair of the HSG Board, Professor Asha George.
The Sam Adjei Distinguished Public Service Award was presented to Dr. Viroj Tangcharoensathien by Prof. George, who said “Like Dr Sam Adjei, after whom this award is named, Dr. Viroj combines engagement in both health systems development and research; has played a leading role in creating the infrastructure and relationships that ensures the research influences policy; and has had a seminal influence on the health trajectory of his country.”
Dr. Viroj is currently Secretary General of the International Health Policy Program Foundation in Thailand and has contributed to strengthening health systems in Thailand since the 1980s, starting first as a medical doctor in small rural hospitals in Eastern Thailand, for which he was recognized as the “Best Rural Doctor of the Year” by The Thai Medical Association. He subsequently continued to serve the Ministry of Health in several senior positions guiding health policy and planning, and since the 1990s has championed health policy and systems research as a key foundation for supporting and sustaining progressive Universal Health Coverage in Thailand.
The Award for Lifetime Service to the field of HPSR was awarded to Professor Lucy Gilson, who is one of the leading scholars of health policy analysis in low- and middle-income countries. In her roles as Professor and Head of the Health Policy and Systems Division, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town and as Professor in Health Policy and Systems, in the Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, she has led the way in promoting the use of health policy analysis research, and in educating and mentoring junior scholars in this field. In presenting the award, Prof. Peters said “The award criteria specify excellence in one of three areas: original research, promotion of utilization of research, or educational leadership – Lucy wins the triple crown for excellence in all three areas.”
The next Societal Awards will be held at the Sixth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.