​The Association of Public Health Laboratories invites its membership to nominate individuals for the Champion of the Public Health Laboratory Award. This award recognizes federal, state and local elected officials and executive branch employees who have recognized the importance of state and local governmental laboratories that perform testing of public health significance either through support of legislation or federal agency decisions. The work for which they are being nominated should have occurred within the past two years.

Formal recognition for this award will take place during the awards breakfast at the APHL Annual Meeting.

Past Winners

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Nominate someone

Year: 2016

Alberto Gutierrez, PhD

Dr. Gutierrez has proven and continues to demonstrate that he is a champion of public health laboratories through his leadership at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on regulatory activities related to laboratory testing. Dr. Gutierrez has been particularly eager to work with APHL on topics of public health surveillance, newborn screening and infectious disease testing to advance his comprehensive and robust understanding of the public health laboratory system as the FDA guidance for laboratory developed tests is being finalized. He has engaged APHL members and staff on numerous occasions, both formal and informal, to discuss the impact of laboratory developed test regulation on public health and further evidence of the seriousness of his commitment is found in his presentations and attendance at APHL's past two annual meetings.
Dr. Gutierrez has shown great flexibility during the Zika public health emergency, affording public health laboratories the ability to operate under enforcement discretion as the emergency use authorizations were being put in place. He is to be commended for his productive rapport with FDA's sister Health and Human Services agency the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC is critical to the operations of state and local public health laboratories and it is essential to the federal, state and local laboratory network that FDA perform a positive and productive role, especially during public health emergencies.

expand Year: 2014
expand Year: 2013

​Christopher Christie, JD
Governor of New Jersey

​Governor Chris Christie has demonstrated a strong commitment to the health of New Jersey’s families since he assumed his office in January 2010. He signed several laws expanding newborn screening and supported construction of a new, state of the art public health laboratory which has been recognized with APHL’s 2012 Gold Standard Award for Public Health Laboratory Excellence. Under the leadership of Governor Christie, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to mandate that all hospitals perform a pulse oximetry test on every newborn to check for potentially life-threatening congenital birth defects. Governor Christie signed that legislation on June 2nd, 2011. Just one day after the law took effect, its impact was immediately felt when the life of newborn Dylan Gordon of Sussex County was saved. After Baby Dylan had his required pulse oximetry test— doctors discovered a heart murmur and were able to take quick action, surgically repairing Baby Dylan’s heart when he was just nine days old. Several other babies have had life-threatening heart defects detected thanks to this law, which has since been adopted by other states and endorsed nationally by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last year, Governor Christie further showed support for newborn screening and the public health lab by signing Emma’s Law, which requires all newborns to be screened for five rare lysosomal storage disorders. Through Dylan’s Law, Emma’s Law, a new, award-winning state-of-the-art laboratory and an increase in the budget for newborn screening, Governor Chris Christie has demonstrated his commitment to improving public health for the residents of New Jersey and is an example for the nation.
expand Year: 2012
expand Year: 2008

Christopher Dodd