SF State News {University Communications}

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Edelman Institute partner named Public Health Hero

March 19, 2009 -- WiRED has been named the 2009 Organizational Public Health Hero by the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. A partner of the Marian Wright Edelman Institute in the College of Health and Human Services, WiRED (World Internet Resources for Education) provides medical and healthcare information and education to practitioners in developing countries and war-torn regions.

Photo of Kenyans learning to use the computers in a WiRED information hub.

Traditional healers in Kenya learn to get medical information at a WiRED technology hub.

Professor of Business Communications and WiRED founder Gary Selnow accepted the award on behalf of his volunteers and organization at a ceremony at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health on March 18. 

SF State President Robert A. Corrigan presented the award. "In its 12 years of existence, WiRED has truly reached around the world with programs that change -- and save -- lives," Corrigan said.

WiRED provides crucial health information services and equipment to communities coping with war, poverty and dislocation in 12 countries on four continents. Its volunteer force of medical, business and technology professionals has converted empty rooms into global technology hubs within a day. In 2003, WiRED followed American forces into Iraq to set up e-libraries for American as well as Iraqi doctors, who previously had no access to medical information outside of their own country.

"No medication or medical device can do as much to promote health in the remote regions of the world as a doctor's knowledge of the latest information in medicine," said Selnow, who founded WiRED after working in Zagreb, Croatia, on a Fulbright award in 1997.  

WiRED is now developing a Telemedicine Network, which will allow medical practitioners in any country to gain instant online access to learning modules and instructors from medical schools and health institutions in the U.S.  The School of Nursing is scheduled to prepare three modules on educating and treating diabetes patients.
Each year since 1996, the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley, recognizes one organization and three individuals who have made significant contributions that advance the health of the human population. Organizations honored in previous years include International Medical Corps and Kaiser Permanente.

Individuals honored as Public Health Heroes this year were Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D, of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; John E. Wennberg, M.D., founder of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy; and philanthropist Betty Moore of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

For more information about WiRED, visit /www.wiredinternational.org/
For more information about the Public Health Heroes Awards, visit

-- Denize Springer


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