From left to right: Hesperian Board Member Leigh Haynes, Sarah Shannon, Jennifer Ware and Julia Robinson
Oakland, CA – Sarah Shannon, the Executive Director of Hesperian Health Guides, has received two prestigious awards recognizing her contributions to public health: the Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the American Public Health Association’s International Health section, and the Paul Cornely Award, a national APHA award presented at the Health Activist Dinner.
The Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award in International Health honors visionaries and leaders who have shaped the direction of international health. This distinction celebrates the tremendous contributions to global health made by Hesperian under Shannon’s 25 years of leadership, during which Hesperian expanded the reach of its life-saving informational and educational tools into over 80 languages.
Shannon’s focus at Hesperian has been on reaching and empowering the most marginalized communities, engaging grassroots partners in the development of and access to health materials to address new health challenges and stubborn inequalities. Hesperian’s pioneering open copyright policy encourages communities to adapt and share resources, and its award-winning mobile apps are designed for use in low-resource settings.
In accepting this award on November 14, 2023, Shannon acknowledged the invaluable public health mentorship she received from the late Davida Coady, MD, MPH, an activist physician and Hesperian board member who in turn was mentored by Dr. Taylor. Shannon considers this award to be a recognition of the centrality of following a path toward community-led health justice.
Shannon’s commitment to public health and social justice was further recognized with the Paul Cornley Award, established in honor of the public health pioneer active in struggles to end ethnic and racial discrimination globally, which was presented to her on November 12, 2023 at the APHA’s annual Health Activist Dinner.
Continuing to expand Hesperian’s materials relevant to today’s health challenges, Shannon is deeply involved with the development of new, desperately needed resources. The Community Mental Health Promotion Guide, due to be released next year, is a resource tailored to community organizers and health workers confronting the structural and economic determinants of their community’s mental health. Also in 2024, Shannon will oversee the user-testing of a new Hesperian book on Epilepsy and Seizures, with a focus on combatting the harms of stigma directed against people with epilepsy.
For more information or media inquiries, contact Kimi Owens ([email protected])