In recognition of his outstanding contributions to public health through science-based advocacy, Taiwan Minister of Health Wen-Ta Chiu received the 2012 David P. Rall Award for Advocacy in Public Health.
The award is a tribute to David P. Rall, MD, MPH who brought scientific research to bear on policy-making and in environmental health, and whose science-based advocacy advanced public health and prevention across many fields and in many forms.
Minister Chiu was a key advocate for Taiwan’s motorcycle helmet law, using his extensive neurotrauma research to spearhead a decade-long campaign that ended in the law’s passage in 1997. Data show the law moved injury deaths from the third leading cause of death in 1996 to the sixth in 2008. An estimated 3000 lives have been saved every year by the helmet law.
Minister Chiu’s other public health work has included establishing Taiwan’s head injury registry and developing quality indicators for outpatient care. He also founded a stroke and traumatic brain injury research center and the Coordination Center for International Research.
Minister Chiu is a U.S. National Institutes of Health guest researcher (2009-2014) and participant in a joint U.S.-Israel-Sweden-Taiwan study of mild traumatic brain injury patients. He also participated in an international collaborative study among 18 countries, the Quality of Life After Brain Injury study, that led to a new evaluation method. Minister Chiu led a 2008 collaboration among Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asian countries to establish Asian traumatic brain injury guidelines that have become standard in many countries.
Formerly associated with Wanfang Hospital, Minister Chiu most recently served as president of Taipei Medical University. Minister Chiu also is a former president of the Taiwan Neurotrauma Society, the Taiwan Surgical Association, the Taiwan Health Insurance Association and the Asia-Oceania Neurotrauma Society. He has served as secretary and committee member for the Neurotraumatology Committee of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies. Minister Chiu serves on several editorial boards and has received the Legacy Laureate and Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Pittsburgh and two research fellowships from the International College of Surgeons.
Minister Chiu has been dedicated to traumatic brain injury research for 30 years and has published more than 400 research papers and numerous books. He is known among his colleagues as a visionary advocate for health promotion and disease prevention in the Asia-Pacific region.