Legacy – Diamond
What or who inspired you to become a health educator?
After serving in the United States Marine Corp (1961-65), I fulfilled my ambition to become the 1st person in the history of my family on both my mothers’ and fathers’ side to become a college graduate.
As the oldest of 7 children of a low-income family born and raised in inner-city Baltimore (1943-55), I was significantly influenced by my mother and the Catholic Church to appreciate the plight of other people.
I received a BS in Community Health Education with a minor in Biology (1969) with Honors from Morgan State College (HBC) in Baltimore. This preparation and academic performance provided the foundation for my acceptance and completion of my MS (1970) and PhD (1972) in Health Education with concentrations in Educational and Social Psychology and Survey and Evaluation Research Methods at the U. of Illinois. In 1970 I became a student member of the Illinois SOPHE Chapter. When I completed the PhD and joined the Faculty at Ohio State U. as a tenure earning Assistant Professor, I joined SOPHE as a member. Although I have been a member of several national Public Health and Behavioral Science professional organizations, SOPHE has always been my primary home.
What is one of your most memorable career highlights?
It is not possible to select one career highlight. I put my major accomplishments worthy of highlighting as a succession of sentinel events. My mentors, peers and experts in a discipline have independently nominated and judged my performance to be meritorious. The following are among the most cherished:
- Post-Doctoral Fellowship-MPH in MCH and Health Services Research at Johns Hopkins U. SPH (1975-76) and joining Larry Greens’ Faculty at the SPH as a Tenure Earning Assistant Professor (1976).
- Election (1979) to SOPHE VP and SOPHE President Elect (1980) and President (1981) and Distinguished SOPHE Fellow (1989).
- Funding by DHHS/NIH as the Principal Investigator (PI) of the 1st and 2nd Randomized Clinical Trials in the United States (1982-85 + 1987-91) to Evaluate the Efficacy, Cost-Effectiveness and Cost-Benefit of a tailored Health Education Program, (Smoking Cessation and Reduction In Pregnancy Treatment (SCRIPT), for Medicaid patients.
- Independent nomination and selection for the C. Everett Koop, MD National Health Award from the Washington Business Group on Health for my scientific and programmatic leadership contributions to the evidence-base for counseling pregnant smokers in the United States (1997).
- Independent nomination and selection as a “Public Health Scholar” by the Delta Omega Honors Society, Alpha Chapter, Johns Hopkins SPH (1999) for my significant contributions to the MCH science and practice-base.
- Independent review and citation of the SCRIPT Program, RCT 1 + 2, by the Agency for HealthCare Policy and Research (AHCPR), DHHS, “National Clinical Practice Assessment and Treatment Guidelines for Pregnant Smokers”, (2000).
Who were/are mentors or significant champions for your career?
- Seymore Sudman, Professor, U of Illinois School of Business, (1970-72) as my Survey and Evaluation Research mentor.
- Larry Green as role model for critical thinking, and building a science-base, and leadership-base in Health Education research and practice.
What motivated you to donate to SOPHE?
SOPHE has defined my core professional foundation for 50 years.
What advice would you give new professionals just entering the health education field?
Regardless of setting, concurrently work on growing your technical and practical skill set.
Richard is a diamond-level donor to SOPHE’s Legacy Circle Fund.
What’s your legacy?