The Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award is awarded to a person who has distinguished herself/himself professionally by working toward social justice for underserved and disadvantaged populations. This individual’s work should focus on improving the health and well being of these populations and should include the activities of leading, advocating and mentoring (any or all three of these activities). This award is named after the late Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, past president of APHA and a pediatrician. Dr. Rodriguez-Trias was an inspiration and role model who strove to meet the needs of underserved and disadvantaged populations, especially women and children. Through her work and activism, she used social justice strategies that affect change for the better.
For the purpose of this award, social justice is intended to be seen in the context of improving the public’s health and well being through works that lead to the elimination of health disparities. These works, which empower disenfranchised communities toward making healthy changes, and influence public policies toward a greater equitable distribution of resources for those with little or none. Specific areas to be considered for this award are those that deal with cross cultural communications, reproductive rights, women’s health issues, and providing access to health care. Priority shall be given to a public health worker whose actions can be viewed as a model for what can be done to address inequities and injustices at national, state, and/or local levels of operations.
View a list of previous winners.