The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) presented its 2012 John C. MacQueen Lecture Award to Dr. Gail C. Christopher, vice president – program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF). The award honors Christopher for her innovation and leadership in the field of maternal and child health, and in particular for promoting racial equity in improving the lives of vulnerable children. Dr. Christopher received the top award during AMCHP’s Annual Conference in Washington, at which she shared inspirational remarks with a group of 700 national maternal and child health leaders.
"There are so many reasons to recognize Dr. Christopher and all she has done on behalf of America’s women, children and families,” said Michael Fraser, chief executive officer of AMCHP. “Her work to advance racial healing and address structural racism as a root cause of health inequities for children of color is game changing.” Fraser cited Dr. Christopher’s efforts to promote breastfeeding among African-American communities, where breastfeeding rates are low, as a tangible strategy to improve child health. He also lauded her leadership to influence the national conversation about breastfeeding and breast milk as an optimal first food.
"I'm truly honored by this recognition from the AMCHP," said Dr. Christopher. "AMCHP continues to play a critical role in bringing together public health professionals, advocates and families and fostering collaboration to improve the health of women and children.”
The MacQueen Award was established in honor of distinguished AMCHP member Dr. John C. MacQueen, who worked tirelessly on behalf of children with special health care needs. Past awardees include former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop; Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, and Kathryn Hall Trujillo, founder of the Birthing Project USA, an international resource center for improving birth outcomes for women of color and a WKKF grantee.