When TEPHINET joined The Task Force in 2009, it consisted of only 30 field epidemiology training programs (FETPs) in the same number of countries. Today, the network has grown to 71 programs serving more than 100 countries.
Dionisio Herrera, MD, PhD, has been at the helm of TEPHINET during this extraordinary period of growth in the FETP enterprise. In recognition of a decade of contributions, The Task Force honored him on Oct. 30 with the inaugural Task Force for Global Health Consequential Compassion Award.
“You have had a large impact on global health,” said Task Force President and CEO Dave Ross, ScD. “You’ve built the social capital around the world that has sparked the growth of field epi training programs.”
The Consequential Compassion Award is a new Task Force award given on select occasions to mark extraordinary achievements, such as the elimination of a disease, or to honor career-defining accomplishments that have lasting impact on global health.
In accepting the award, Herrera credited the TEPHINET team for the success of the program over the last decade. “I have had the privilege of working with 40 people at TEPHINET over the years,” he said. “This prize recognizes them and also our incredible partners.”
Herrera added that the growth of TEPHINET demonstrates the value of collaboration and the common goal to improve public health. “We have the same problems as people in a small village in Zambia,” he said. “And we all want to change the world.”
Kip Baggett, MD, MPH, of the Division of Global Health Protection at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was among the TEPHINET partners on hand for the award’s presentation who offered congratulatory remarks. “This award is nothing short of inspiring,” he said. “You’ve built TEPHINET into a partner that CDC cannot do without.”
Also on hand for the ceremony were Herrera’s parents, wife, and children. “You are all examples for me,” said Herrera.
In the above video, Herrera reflects on the growth of TEPHINET and its impact on global health.