Press Releases

2007 Releases

HSPH Dean Bloom Awarded Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III

Highest honor given by the Republic of Cyprus

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Boston, MA -- Harvard School of Public Health Dean Barry R. Bloom has been awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III which is the highest honor awarded in the Republic of Cyprus to individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the welfare of the Cypriot people. 

Dean Bloom received the award Tuesday evening, March 20, from Cyprus President Tasso Papadopoulos at a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus.

The award was established in 1981 and named after President Makarios, the first president following the independence of Cyprus from the British Empire.

Previous recent recipients include Patrick Devedjian, Member of the French Parliament and Former Minister, Vassilios Skouris, President of the Court of Justice of the European Community, and Ambassador Constantinos Georgiou, Secretary General of the Greek Parliament.

Dean Bloom is being honored by the Republic of Cyprus for his role in establishing the Initiative for the Environment and Public Health, an international research, education, and technology initiative established jointly by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Republic of Cyprus. The Initiative brings together researchers, educators, government officials, and business leaders from Harvard, Cyprus and other countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, North Africa and the Middle East to address regional environmental issues and develop new ways to promote a cleaner environment and healthier populations.

As part of the Initiative, two new research and training entities were created: The Cyprus International Institute (CII) for the Environment and Public Health located in Nicosia, Cyprus, and the HSPH-Cyprus Program (HCP) located in Boston, Massachusetts.

Said Dean Bloom: "I am very honored to receive such an award which I accept on behalf of all the individuals who have been working so hard over the past three years to make the Initiative for the Environment and Public Health so successful. These would include colleagues at Harvard School of Public Health and members of the Cypriot government and scientific communities. And it reflects a great vision of President Papadopoulos of Cyprus to create a center of learning that brings together scientists from all parts of the region."

Established in 2004, the goals of the Initiative are to train a new generation of public health leaders in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean region, and to conduct research in Cyprus and the region focused in five areas: air pollution and its effects on respiratory and cardiovascular diseases; the Eastern Mediterranean, water and health; cancer research and control in Cyprus and in the Eastern Mediterranean region; tobacco research and control; and occupational health.

Since its inception, the Initiative has created 15 research units to address the five major research priority areas. A National Strategic Plan to Control Smoking Prevalence submitted by the Initiative to the government of the Republic of Cyprus has been  accepted and is now in the process of being implemented. The Initiative has also brought together in Cyprus representatives from the ministries of health and environment in 13 countries in the region to discuss how their governments and scientists can work together to improve the environment and public health.

The Initiative also has organized 14 public lectures attracting 3,000 participants on topics ranging from the consequences of the recent Lebanese oil spill and European Union policies for future power systems to the role of environmental pollution in the deterioration of archaeological sites and health and safety in the construction industry. 

To meet the Initiative's educational goals, a 52-credit 12-month master's program in environmental and public health has been developed which is now being offered at the Cyprus International Institute (CII) affiliated with the Initiative. While students in the master's program receive their degree from the CII and not from HSPH, half of the 15 students enrolled in the first class of this program have applied to the Harvard School of Public Health for continued graduate study. An additional six highly-qualified master, doctoral, and post-doctoral students from the region have also enrolled at HSPH since the Initiative's inception. 

For further information contact: Robin Herman rherman@hsph.harvard.edu, 617-432-4752