Greg Alexander Posthumously Awarded for Life's Work in Maternal & Children's Health

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Greg R. Alexander
September 20, 1950 – February 20, 2007

The 2007 Martha May Eliot Award, honoring exceptional achievements in maternal and child health has been awarded posthumously to Greg Alexander, ScD, MPH, RS, by the American Public Health Association. A professor in both the USF colleges of Public Health and Medicine, he died in February 2007. He is considered one of the most prominent perinatal epidemiologists in the world – credited with leading groundbreaking research on perinatal care, ethnic disparities in birth outcomes, and gestational age measurement.

During his lifetime, Alexander published extensively on maternal and child health research, and was called upon for his expertise by local, state, federal and international organizations – including the governments of France, Mexico and Canada. He was co-editor of the Maternal & Child Health Journal and reviewed manuscripts submitted to several dozen journals across the U.S. He is survived by his wife, Donna Petersen, Dean of the USF College of Public Health, and their two daughters, Kerry and Morgan.

“The Martha May Eliot Award is the highest honor achievable in the field of Maternal and Child Health”, noted his wife, Dr. Donna Petersen. “I know that Greg would be very pleased and very humbled to receive this award. Although he was taken from us at the peak of his career, his record achievements over his 56 years was extraordinary and reflective of the intensity with which he lived his life.”

Alexander’s legacy in the field of maternal and child health stretches far and wide. In addition to his prolific research efforts, he mentored countless many graduate students who have gone on to enjoy productive careers in this field. Also, for nearly 15 years, he directed the national Maternal & Child Health Leadership Skills Training Institute, supported by the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau. In his role as director, Alexander taught hundreds of state program directors and staff key leadership skills to increase their reach and impact in the communities they serve.

His academic career included faculty positions at John Hopkins University; the University of Minnesota, where he served as Chair of the Dept. of Maternal & Child Health; the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he was also the Chair in Maternal and Child health; and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he served as a visiting professor for 17 years. The award winning perinatal epidemiologist received numerous recognitions over the years, including the National Center for Health Statistics Director’s Award, and the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health Leadership Award.

“It is a special honor for one of our own to be recognized in this way. Greg Alexander is desperately missed. We will never forget him”, said Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, USF Health Vice President and Dean of the USF College of Medicine.