- Abram Salmon Benenson
Abram Salmon Benenson, MD (1914 –
December 15, 2003) was an authority in public health, preventive medicine, military medicine, and "shoe-leather" epidemiology. He was best known as the editor-in-chief (1970 to 1995) for the " Control of Communicable Diseases Manual" of the American Public Health Association. His tenure as editor was so lengthy that the manual was often known as the "Benenson Book".
Dr Benenson graduated from
Cornell Medical Schoolin New York Cityand interned for 3 years before entering the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He earned board certifications in pathology, preventive medicineand public health, and microbiology. His military career included assignments as commanding officer, Tropical Research Medical Laboratoryin San Juan, Puerto Rico, and as director of Experimental Medicine, Camp Detrick, Maryland; of Division of Communicable Disease and Immunology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research(WRAIR); of the Pakistan–Southeast Asia Treaty Organization(SEATO) Cholera Research Laboratoryin Dacca, Bangladesh, and of the Gorgas Memorial Laboratoryin Panama. He retired from the military in 1962 as a colonel.
Benenson then served on numerous commissions and committees throughout his long civilian career, for which his expertise in
smallpox, cholera, vaccines, and biological warfarewas utilized to make public health policy decisions at both state and federal levels. Highlights of his 60 year medical career included involvement in the eradication of smallpox (1979); the development of the jet injectorfor vaccines and of oral rehydrationfor the victims of debilitating diarrhea; AIDS, cholera, and laboratory technology. He subsequently held academic positions at the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Department of Community Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicinein Lexington; and the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State Universityin California.
Awards & Honors
*Joseph E. Smadel Memorial lecture (1981)
*Commander’s Award for Civilian Service (1983)
*K. F. Meyer Gold-Headed Cane from the American Veterinary Epidemiological Society (1984).
*Distinguished Civilian Service Award (1990)
*American Public Health Association's Award for Excellence in (1991)
*American Public Health Association's John Snow Award (1992)
*The Benenson Distinguished Lecture, to be inaugurated on 13 Apr 2007, in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the
San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Healthwill be an annual lecture series at the GSPH.
* [http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/159/6/622 Obituary]
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