Award-winning work now shifts to training next generation

Marie Harvey earned lifetime achievement award for public health work.
Marie Harvey earned lifetime achievement award for public health work.

Winning a lifetime achievement award was “a sobering experience” for Marie Harvey, chairwoman of the Department of Public Health at Oregon State.

“It made me realize this is the last chapter of my career,” said Harvey, who received the American Public Health Association honor Oct. 27. “With so much work that needs to be done, I need to focus on mentoring the next generation of faculty, researchers, and students.”

“They are the ones who will develop the abilities to take on the challenges in the future,” she said.

Harvey, whose work has been on the sexual health of men and women, received the 2008 Carl S. Shultz Award for outstanding lifetime achievement from the Population, Family Planning and Reproductive Health Section of APHA.

The award, the highest recognition given by the section, cited the commitment and contributions Harvey has made to the field of sexual and reproductive health, including research, teaching, and mentorship to other faculty members, researchers and students.

Harvey, who came to OSU in 2003, is a researcher focused on the social, psychological, and cultural aspects of sexual and reproductive health.

She is a founder of the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health in Los Angeles and a member of the board of directors for the Oregon Public Health Association.

Throughout her career, she has focused on the reproductive health of women, beginning her work on the frontlines as a social worker and family planning counselor.

Harvey is “very excited” with her current research projects: understanding the factors that contribute to increased risks of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and to unintended pregnancy, including relationship dynamics as well as cultural and social determinants.

Harvey is involved in two studies, one funded by the Centers for Disease Control and the other by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Population Affairs, that examine sexual risk behavior and contraception use among Latinos in rural Benton, Linn, Marion, and Polk counties.

She said the award “is particularly meaningful”  because the Population, Family Planning and Reproductive Health Section uses evidenced-based research to promote policies, programs and services to bring about change, to make a difference, to bring reproductive rights to all men and women.

The American Public Health Association is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world and has been working to improve public health since 1872.

~ by Angela Yeager and Ed Curtin

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