Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Loss of a public health champion

It is with deep sorrow that the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center announces the passing of its founding Director, Dr. Michael E. Samuels.

Dr. Samuels, subsequent to service with the US Navy, had an outstanding public health career and a pronounced effect on rural health across the US. Early in his career with the US Department of Health and Human Services, he obtained the legislative authority and implemented the Health Underserved Rural Areas Research Program in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), predecessor to the current Office of Rural Health Policy. In recent years, Dr. Samuels received both the Distinguished Research Award (2002) and the Distinguished Educator Award (2010) of the National Rural Health Association, as well as the C. Everett Koop Medal of Appreciation from the Koop Institute (2005).

Dr. Samuels’ passion for social justice motivated a long career in public health administration and public health education. Throughout that time, he never stopped fighting for equitable health care for rural poor, underserved and minority populations. We honor his memory and are inspired further to continue his work.

Dr. Samuels' personal obituary is available at the Winston-Salem Journal.

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