3414.1 Dr. Lester Breslow: A Celebration of His Living Legacy and Lessons

Monday, October 29, 2012: 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
This session commemorates the Life of Lester Breslow 1915-2012, Past President of APHA (1969), a former Dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and Director of California’s Department of Public Health. Dr. Breslow’s notable career extended over 7 decades of Public Health. Speakers present the broad brush of Dr. Breslow of a “life well lived” in multiple views: as a professional and the person, leader and remarkable individual. This Celebration connects us with his legacy in APHA and Public Health that both inform us as to where we are today and, equally, provide lessons to chart the tomorrows of public health. As Sarah Anderson wrote for the UCLA News Room announcing Les’s death this April 9th at age 97: “Breslow was a visionary public health figure with a well-established track record for being ahead of his time. As early as the 1940s, he linked tobacco use to disease in three studies that were later cited in the U.S. Surgeon General's landmark 1964 report. He was widely known for his early advocacy and research into health promotion and disease prevention. Breslow's pioneering Alameda County studies beginning in the early 1960s were among the first to show that simple health practices….add both years and quality to life. While these conclusions are taken for granted today, the idea of such a strong connection between lifestyle and health was seen as 'bizarre' at the time." Les was a tireless advocate and contributor in education research and the practice of public health. He worked with equal commitment to champion equity and access to prevention and care for both individuals and communities. These latter themes are recurring values and challenges for us today. Come and Join Us- in celebrating this unique public health persona and personality.
Session Objectives: Describe the enduring value of our APHA leaders, Dr. Breslow in particular and his legacy as part of the importance to capture our past and understand current events. Analyze the essential fundamentals of the time and context of the events that shaped public health as exemplified by Dr. Breslow’s career. Evaluate Dr. Breslow’s contribution set in the enduring challenges to public health in guiding and setting milestones for our future public health planning and advocacy in building healthy communities.
Jay H. Glasser, MS, PhD

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