The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington announced that Dr. Joe and Sarah Ellen Mamlin, who have been leaders in the AMPATH Kenya HIV care programs in partnership with the IU School of Medicine for more than three decades, are the joint recipients of the 2023 Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award. Established in 2009 by the school’s Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention (RCAP), the award recognizes individuals who are "exemplary bearers of the standard of excellence and commitment needed to combat HIV/AIDS."
Previous recipients include AIDS Quilt visionary Cleve Jones, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Greg Louganis, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Dr. C. Everett Koop, and Ryan’s mother Jeanne White Ginder.
"Dr. Joe and Sarah Ellen Mamlin are shining beacons of the state of Indiana and Indiana University," says Provost Professor William L. Yarber, senior director of RCAP. "What they did in partnership with Moi University is a miraculous transformation for health care and HIV/AIDS prevention in Kenya. Their determination and work with their Kenyan colleagues have led to one of the most comprehensive, successful, and touted health care programs in the world—a program that saved countless lives and empowered the ill and impoverished. They are most deserving of the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award. We are thrilled to welcome them to the group of renowned recipients."
Indiana University School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess agrees: "When Joe Mamlin and his IU School of Medicine colleagues formed a partnership with Moi University School of Medicine in Kenya in 1989, they changed the trajectory of both institutions for the better," he says. "The AMPATH partnership has provided care for more than 200,000 people living with HIV and has hosted thousands of trainees and conducted research that has changed lives, not just in Kenya and Indiana, but around the world."
Jeanne White will present the award to the Mamlins, who will have a "fireside chat" with Dr. Yarber during the award ceremony, scheduled for Wednesday, December 6 in the Indiana Memorial Union's elegant Tudor Room. The event is free and open to the public. Attendees will be treated to dinner and a performance of a Kenyan song by renowned world-renowned vocalist Sylvia McNair.
Ryan White, for whom the award is named, was an Indiana teen diagnosed with HIV in 1984 after receiving tainted blood products. He was subsequently banned from public school despite assurance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indiana State Department of Health that he posed no risk to students and staff. His legal battle to return to school made international news. He died April 8, 1990 at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis at the age of 18.
Established in 1994, RCAP promotes prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in rural America. It has been largely supported through a partnership with the CDC.
To learn more, visit rcap.indiana.edu.