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University of Iowa News Release


May 16, 2008

UI College of Public Health to honor alumni award recipients May 16

Three prominent alumni have been chosen by the University of Iowa College of Public Health to receive 2008 Outstanding Alumni Awards. The awards, recognizing outstanding past accomplishments, promise for future success and commitment to the college's mission, vision and goals, will be presented at the college's annual honors dinner May 16.

The College of Public Health Outstanding Alumni Awards honor up-and-coming graduates as well as prominent alumni who have been in their field of practice for more than 10 years. Several alumni are recognized each year.

"The 2008 recipients are leaders on a wide range of public health issues, including rural substance abuse, international infectious diseases, and evidence-based medicine and biostatistics," said James Merchant, dean of the College of Public Health. "We're pleased to honor their many accomplishments with this award."

This year's recipients of the College of Public Health's Outstanding Alumni Award are:

--Brenda M. Booth, professor of psychiatry and biostatistics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. A nationally recognized expert in substance abuse epidemiology and addiction health services research, Booth earned an M.S. (1985) and a Ph.D. (1990) in biostatistics. In addition to authoring more than 120 peer-reviewed publications and serving as principal investigator on numerous grants, she is highly regarded as an outstanding mentor and leader. Her current research interests include cost-effectiveness of reducing drug treatment barriers and rural stimulant use and mental health.

--Shannon D. Putnam, head of the Bacterial Diseases Program, Naval Medical Research Unit  No. 2, Jakarta, Indonesia. Putnam earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology in 1999 and currently is a commander in the microbiology community of the Medical Service Corps, U.S. Navy. Regarded as a leader in international infectious disease epidemiology, including avian influenza, Putnam is noted for his scholarly research, public health service and laboratory leadership. He frequently serves on committees guiding international policy or training for infectious diseases. He maintains ties to the College of Public Health by mentoring graduate students and collaborating on multinational infectious disease epidemiologic studies.

--Colin P. West, assistant professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. West earned an M.S. (1995) and a Ph.D. (1999) in biostatistics, as well as an M.D. (1999), from the UI. Drawing on his unique combination of training in medicine and biostatistics, West has made notable achievements as a scholar, instructor and medical researcher and has completed an impressive number of publications, presentations and workshops. His current research interests include physician well being, the educational connections between medicine and biostatistics, and evidence-based medicine.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications and External Relations, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, College of Public Health Office of Communications and External Relations, 319-335-9647,