Sullivan, autobiography recognized with NAACP Image Award

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Photo: Len Bruzzese/AHCJ

Photo: Len Bruzzese/AHCJ

Louis W. Sullivan, who spoke to Health Journalism 2014 attendees about his just-released autobiography, has won an NAACP Image Award for the book.

Sullivan, the founding dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine – the first predominantly black medical school – served as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President George H.W. Bush from 1989-93.

Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine,” written with David Chanoff, chronicles Sullivan’s rise from a childhood in the Jim Crow South to become a physician and the rise of his career.

As HHS secretary, Sullivan led the effort to increase the National Institutes of Health budget from $8 billion in 1989 to $13.1 billion in 1993, established the Office of Research on Minority Health (now the Institute for Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities), introduced new food labeling and led significant efforts to educate the American public about the health dangers of tobacco.

Sullivan is chairman of the board of the National Health Museum in Atlanta and chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based Sullivan Alliance to Transform the Health Professions, a national nonprofit organization with a community-focused agenda to diversify and transform health professions’ education and health delivery systems.

Winners in the 46th NAACP Image Awards literary categories were announced at a gala dinner in Pasadena, Calif., on Feb. 5.

The annual NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in literature, film, television, and music and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.

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