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Stone House Renamed to Honor Chiles

By Irene Edwards

On the Front Page...

The Stone House was officially named the "Lawton Chiles International House" at a dedication ceremony May 13 held under a tent on the grounds of the house. The event, naming Bldg. 16 for Gov. Lawton Chiles of Florida, brought together members of Chiles' family and staff, members of the Florida congressional delegation, and representatives of the NIH community to celebrate the occasion. The house is a locus for international activities supported by the Fogarty International Center, other NIH institutes and centers, and HHS.


Now in his second and final term as governor of Florida, Chiles previously served in Florida's House and Senate, then spent 18 years in the United States Senate, where he chaired the appropriations subcommittee for labor, health and human services, education and related agencies. Sen. Chiles was a staunch supporter of NIH, and his tenure on the committee coincided with a period of significant growth at NIH, including the establishment of the Office of Human Genome Research and an increased emphasis on AIDS and mental health research. It was at the end of Chiles' tenure in the Senate that legislation was passed naming the house for him.

NIH director Dr. Harold Varmus (l), Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles and his daughter Rhea Chiles-MacKinnon visit building's new plaque.

As governor, Chiles has dedicated himself to "building a constituency for children" in an effort to promote the well-being of Florida's children and families. His namesake institution, the Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, works to reduce maternal and infant mortality and morbidity through community-based programs.

In his remarks to guests, NIH director Dr. Harold Varmus announced that NICHD and the USF Chiles Center have established an annual Lawton Chiles International Lecture on Maternal and Child Health in the Americas. The lecture will be given at NIH and at USF by a leading scientist engaged in research in maternal and child health in Central or South America, selected jointly by the directors of the two sponsoring organizations. Emphasis in selection will be placed on research leading to improved health care or influencing public policy.

"While I'm proud to be recognized here today," said Chiles, "it is the researchers and scholars who are the heroes. They are the ones who will put this house to work -- improving and saving the lives of people around the world. Because of your efforts," he continued, "the world we live in today and the world we will leave behind for our children and grandchildren is a truly safer, cleaner and better place."

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