DECORAH, IOWA—Dr. Michael Osterholm, class of 1975, was presented with the Outstanding Government Service Award from the American Medical Association in February. Osterholm, who serves on Luther College Board of Regents, is a world-renowned epidemiologist and the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota.
The award is presented to elected and career public servants at the state, local and national levels, who use science and medicine to promote public health. Osterholm was selected in the category of “member of the executive branch serving by presidential appointment.” He was named to Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board in November 2020 and served as Minnesota’s state epidemiologist from 1984 to 1999.
“I’m very honored to have received this award, but I could not have achieved this award without the help of others I’ve worked with over the past 50 years,” Osterholm said. “My public health career began at Luther.”
He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Council on Foreign Relations, and has served as the principal investigator and task force chair for the World Health Organization’s Research and Development Roadmap for both influenza and the zika virus as part of his role on the council.
Osterholm, who published the New York Times bestseller Deadliest Enemy: Our War against Killer Germs in 2017, is the McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health at the University of Minnesota and has published more than 300 academic papers and abstracts on epidemiology and infectious disease. For years, he has been warning that the U.S. was ill-prepared for a pandemic.
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