The directorship of the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis has been named in honor of Larry J. Shapiro, MD, former executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. The directorship was named through the generosity of St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare, which has an enduring relationship with the university. Washington University physicians treat patients at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, each part of BJC HealthCare.
Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton has announced that William G. Powderly, MD, the current director of the institute, will serve as the inaugural Larry J. Shapiro Director. Powderly also will continue in his role as the Dr. J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine and as co-director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the School of Medicine.
Washington University Trustee Steven H. Lipstein, president & CEO of BJC HealthCare, said: “Advances in public health — clean water, public sanitation systems, immunizations and many other programs to improve human health — have contributed so much to our society, to increases in our human lifespan and to our quality of life. We can think of no one who cares more about the human condition than Larry Shapiro, and we are privileged to establish this endowment in his honor.”
The Institute for Public Health seeks to address public health issues and health disparities in the St. Louis region and the world. The multidisciplinary institute draws on the expertise and efforts of faculty, researchers, practitioners, staff and students from across the university to share ideas and develop innovative solutions aimed at improving public health. Powderly was named director of the institute in 2013.
“I am deeply honored to serve as the Larry J. Shapiro Director,” Powderly said. “Larry’s support and encouragement for the institute have made it possible for those working under its umbrella to undertake important work to address gun violence, disparities in health care, antibiotic resistance, global malnutrition and other important public health issues in our St. Louis community and across the globe.”
Added Shapiro: “I could not be more pleased over Bill Powderly being named the inaugural holder of this directorship and for BJC HealthCare’s generous support. Bill has dedicated his career to finding ways to improve the lives of others and to bring attention to deeply important public health issues, health disparities in particular. He is recognized internationally for his research and breadth of knowledge, perhaps mostly for his work to improve treatments for patients with HIV. I have been proud to know and work with such a dedicated physician-scientist.”