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September 14, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg Receives Mary Woodard Lasker Award

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health congratulates New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for receiving the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service from the Lasker Foundation. Mayor Bloomberg was honored by the Lasker Foundation “For employing sound science in political decision making; setting a world standard for the public's health as an impetus for government action; leading the way to reduce the scourge of tobacco use; and advancing public health through enlightened philanthropy.”

“Mayor Bloomberg has been a tireless leader and advocate for public health. In addition, he has been a generous supporter of our School, which was renamed in his honor,” said Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “To many of us, he is a shining example of an enlightened elected official. To those of us who care about the health of populations, he is a hero. I congratulate Mayor Bloomberg for this well-deserved honor.”

Under Mayor Bloomberg's leadership, New York City enacted a comprehensive tobacco control program that prohibited smoking in virtually all indoor workplaces, including restaurants and bars. His smoking initiative has become a model for many states and European countries. The legislation is credited with decreasing smoking and preventing an estimated 100,000 unnecessary deaths. According to the New York City Health Department, the current rate of teen smoking in New York City is two-thirds lower than the national teen smoking rate. The mayor’s foundation has invested more than $375 million in global antismoking efforts and established the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.

Mayor Bloomberg has also worked to combat gun violence. From 2000 to 2008, the total number of murders in New York City declined by approximately 20 percent. Much of the reduction in homicides has been attributed to policing methods that have made it riskier to illegally carry concealed weapons. He also founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which now includes 400 mayors representing over 56 million Americans.

He has also tackled the increasing epidemic of obesity due to over nutrition and the scourge of malaria and other tropical diseases

The official announcement from the Lasker Foundation is available at http://www.laskerfoundation.org/