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FIC's Gardner Receives Public Service Medal

Dr. Pierce Gardner, senior advisor for clinical research at FIC, is a recipient of the Department of Defense Outstanding Public Service Medal, the second highest award given by the Secretary of Defense to private citizens for superior accomplishments and contributions that merit special recognition. At an award ceremony on May 21 at Fort Detrick, Md., Dr. William Winkenwerder, Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, cited Gardner and other members of the Armed Forces epidemiological board (AFEB) for their selfless contributions to the improvement of defense operations and processes for the 2-year period 2001-2002.

Dr. Pierce Gardner

During this time, AFEB members made recommendations on 31 emergent and complex health policy issues. Among the many recommendations by the board's members are a series of changes that removed barriers in the officer accession process and the elimination of needless screening practices that are projected to save the department more than $6 million annually. In addition, AFEB recommendations have been incorporated into defense directives, and have assisted in the approval of anthrax and smallpox vaccines, antibiotics and therapeutics, and low-level phased array radio frequency energy emission systems used by the Department of Defense.

In thanking AFEB members for their exemplary service, Winkenwerder noted his deep appreciation for the board's "individual personal and professional integrity, support and selfless dedication for the health and welfare of our service members." He noted that the board's recommendations also "help provide independent credibility to our military medical programs."

Gardner joined FIC in February 2001, after a career in academic infectious diseases, including 13 years as associate dean for academic affairs at the Medical School of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has been the lead in the development of FIC's new International Clinical, Operational and Health Services Training Award for AIDS and Tuberculosis, and for the Fogarty/Ellison Medical Foundation clinical research training program, which will enable medical or public health students from the U.S. to work in strong research programs in developing countries together with similar-level students from the host country. These programs are geared to ensuring that clinical research can be quickly translated into policy and practice, and that the next generation of U.S. and developing-country clinical researchers is being groomed for future leadership roles.

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