Metro Atlanta Chamber to Present its Heroes of Global Health Award to Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice during the 2021 Bill Foege Global Health Awards in September

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Carlos del Rio, Dr. Katalin Karikó, and frontline healthcare workers to be honored at the awards

Dr. Valerie Montgomery RiceDr. Valerie Montgomery Rice

The fifth annual Bill Foege Global Health Awards will be presented by MAP International on Thursday, September 23, 2021, at the Delta Flight Museum. The award, named to pay tribute to Dr. Bill Foege, a global hero best known for eradicating smallpox, honors individuals and organizations for their commitment to making advancements in global health. This year’s awards recognize Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Carlos del Rio, Dr. Katalin Karikó, and frontline healthcare workers for their humanitarian achievements in combating diseases worldwide, especially as it relates to COVID-19. Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian and UPS CEO Carol Tomé are serving as the honorary co-chairs of the Bill Foege Global Health Awards. Additionally, the event will be emceed by former CNN Anchor Natalie Allen.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the U.S. National Institutes of Health since 1984, advising seven presidents on domestic and global health issues. Dr. Fauci has demonstrated a history of exceptional work combatting infectious diseases over his life, including HIV, Ebola, Zika, and most recently, COVID-19. Fauci became a household name in the U.S. after appearing in televised presidential briefings on the coronavirus. In addition to his recent response efforts, in 2003, Fauci launched the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief under the George W. Bush administration, which the NIH credits with saving millions of lives in the developing world.

Carlos del Rio, M.D. is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine and Executive Associate Dean for Emory at Grady Health System. During the pandemic, Dr. del Rio has worked as a doctor and researcher at Grady Memorial Hospital, treating patients and performing vaccine research. He has also advised municipal, state, and national leaders and is the infectious disease expert for numerous media outlets. He currently serves the Atlanta community as a member of the Atlanta Mayor’s Advisory Council and became a public voice communicating and informing the public about the pandemic.

Dr. Katalin Karikó is a Hungarian biochemist who specializes in RNA-mediated mechanisms and her research was fundamental in the development of in vitro-transcribed mRNA for protein therapies. Dr. Karikó is currently the senior vice president at BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals and an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Katalin Karikó’s research was used in the COVID-19 vaccine that was produced by Pfizer and BioNTech.

Frontline healthcare workers have been integral to the global response to COVID-19. Despite the hardships and health risks, tens of millions of essential frontline workers continue to do their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. These workers have demonstrated courage, compassion, and selflessness during these times. In addition to battling endless hours, draining shifts, staff shortages, and deficient supplies, most are isolated from their families, affecting them emotionally and physically.

Additionally, the Metro Atlanta Chamber will present its Heroes of Global Health Award to Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, President and CEO of Morehouse School of Medicine, and Maria Thacker-Goethe, CEO of the Center for Global Health Innovation and the President and CEO of Georgia Bio. “The world’s leaders in global health call metro Atlanta home, and we are proud to sponsor the Heroes of Global Health Award,” said Metro Atlanta Chamber President and CEO Katie Kirkpatrick. “Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice and Maria Thacker-Goethe embody the ‘Hero’ spirit – opening Atlanta’s doors to the global community, leading teams solving the most challenging global health problems, and displaying the heart and fortitude to serve. Their dedication and leadership advance global health in Atlanta and around the world.”

“As we face what is most likely the greatest crisis of our lifetime, we are humbled to have the opportunity to say thank you and pay tribute to each of our honorees,” said MAP International President and CEO Steve Stirling. “They represent the strongest and most important force in the fight against the coronavirus right now and deserve our unconditional support and gratitude.” 

MAP International is pleased to have Bill Nordmark, President and CEO of Aver Inc., serving as chair of the Bill Foege Global Health Awards. For sponsorship and ticket information, visit

About MAP International

MAP International is a Christian organization providing life-changing medicines and health supplies to people in need. MAP serves all people, regardless of religion, gender, race, nationality or ethnic background. The organization has responded to natural disasters worldwide for over 67 years with vital medicines and relief supplies. Since 1954, the organization has provided billions of dollars in medicines and medical supplies. For more information, visit

About Dr. Bill Foege

Dr. William Foege, M.D., is a folk hero in the global health industry known for his work eradicating smallpox. He was the head of the CDC and also founded the Task Force for Global Health, the second largest health-related charity in the world. The list of organizations he has led represents the ‘A’ list of global health innovators. Besides receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Dr. Foege has received the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind and the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage, in addition to numerous other awards.