2021 IAAH Awards

The end of a World Congress is always bittersweet. After months (years) of preparation and hard work, our time together exploring new and innovative strategies for supporting young people around the globe, networking, and building relationships comes to an end. However, the World Congress is also the time that IAAH honors individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to adolescent health nationally, regionally, or globally, and at the closing ceremony of the 2021 IAAH World Congress, we announced the awardees of the IAAH Founders Award, Young Professionals Prize, and Honorary Fellowship.

The selection process was overseen by our Awards Committee, chaired by past IAAH president, Bruce Dick. Nominations for the first two awards were sought from IAAH members, while Honorary Fellowship is conferred at the discretion of the IAAH Council.

Each of the awardees exemplifies extraordinary contributions to adolescent health. We hope you get as much enjoyment reading about them as we did in awarding them.

Young Professionals Prize

The IAAH Young Professionals Prize was awarded for the first time in 2021. In recognition of their remarkable efforts in establishing the IAAH Young Professionals Network, the prize was jointly awarded to Drs. Jason Nagata, Sophie Remoué-Gonzales, and Natalie Yap.

Jason Nagata is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco, USA whose research focuses on the downstream health effects of adolescent and young adult behaviors to prevent disease later in adulthood, both locally and globally.

Originally from Perú, Sophie Remoué-Gonzales is an Adolescent Medicine Specialist whose clinical work is with disadvantaged adolescents in Texas, USA.

Natalie Yap is a Paediatric Resident in Melbourne, Australia, whose clinical and research interests focus on infectious diseases.

This energetic trio successfully established the IAAH Young Professionals Network that aims to provide diverse opportunities for early career professionals around the world to further develop their knowledge, skills, and experience in adolescent health. Leading the first 4 years of its operation, the nomination noted their ability to take and share leadership, assume and delegate responsibilities, and support each other and their YPN officers in running a global interdisciplinary community of future leaders in adolescent health.

Founders Awards

Our Founders Awards are conferred to an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the field of adolescent health, nationally, regionally or globally. We award one founders award each year, hence celebrating four awards since our last world congress. We are delighted that these 4 award winners span the global north and south, and include leaders in clinical services, education and training, public policy, advocacy and research.

Dr. Maria Alicia Tamesis was a trailblazer for Adolescent Health and Medicine in the Philippines. Graduating from medicine in 1958, Dr. Tamesis has spent over 50 years working in adolescent health. Her efforts contributed to the establishment of many new clinical services in the Philippines, including school health services. As an adolescent health advisor to the Department of Health, she helped bring prominence to adolescent health issues. Dr. Tamesis pioneered the Adolescent Medicine fellowship training program in the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and has trained generations of clinicians. In 1997, she founded the Society of Adolescent Medicine of the Philippines (SAMPI), which among other activities publishes an academic journal on adolescent health and contributes to activities led by WHO and UNICEF, the Department of Health, and local and international NGOs. In the last decade, her efforts also helped establish the Philippine Society of Adolescent Medicine Specialists which aims to elevate the quality of training and research on adolescent health and medicine. Now in her 80s, she still runs a weekly teaching session known as ‘The Tamesis Hour’ and remains a source of deep inspiration for her many colleagues in SAMPI who supported this nomination.

Dr. Kristina Berg Kelly is considered the founder of Adolescent Medicine in Sweden. Returning to Sweden after early training in the USA, Dr. Berg Kelly founded the Swedish Association for Adolescent Medicine in 1987 which functioned then – as now – to help build a critical mass for adolescent health and medicine in Sweden. Dr. Berg Kelly has trained numerous doctors and nurses through running annual courses in adolescent medicine and she has also been active in the European training network, EuTEACH. Despite her official retirement 15 years ago, Dr. Berg Kelly recently worked with WHO in Africa and Eastern Europe to train a new generation of health care professionals, and she continues to advocate for the health of adolescents through an active blog which features the latest research evidence in adolescent health.

Dr. Sheila Campbell-Forrester has played a remarkable role over the past 40 years in helping to create the field of adolescent health in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. Beyond early clinical roles, subsequent positions included serving at the highest level in the Jamaican Ministry of Health as Chief Medical Officer, where she encouraged the development of policies and programmes that benefitted Jamaican adolescents. Dr. Campbell-Forrester has served as a Consultant and Technical Advisor to PAHO, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and various national governments in the Caribbean. She was the inaugural Caribbean Vice-President of the IAAH when the organisation formed in 1987, a role she held for many years. She is also the inaugural president of the Caribbean Association for Adolescent Health that she helped establish in 2019.

Dr. George Patton is a psychiatrist and epidemiologist who co-leads the Centre for Adolescent Health in Melbourne, Australia, a WHO Collaborating Centre for Adolescent Health. A professor of adolescent health research at the University of Melbourne, and the head of adolescent health research at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Dr. Patton’s research has changed the very way we think about the significance of adolescence within the life course, including the effect of puberty on mental health, the intergenerational impacts of adolescence, and the role of schools on wellbeing. Globally, he is the most highly cited researcher in adolescent health. Dr. Patton has led multiple cohort studies where his expertise in longitudinal analyses have contributed to new understandings of the natural history of adolescent mental and substance use disorders, including self-harm and the social determinants of adolescent health. More recent research has focused on nutrition, injury, NCD risks, sexual health and gender norms. Following two series on Adolescent Health in the Lancet, he chaired the highly influential 2016 Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing. Beyond national advisory roles, he generously contributes to multiple international strategic activities. For example, in 2021, he was a senior advisor to UNICEF’s 2021 State of the World’s Children report on mental health, is a member of the WHO Director General’s strategic technical committee on maternal newborn child and adolescent health and contributed to making the case for a 2023 UN Summit on Adolescent Wellbeing.

Honorary Fellowship

IAAH Honorary Fellowship is awarded to individuals who more typically are outside the field of adolescent health yet have made an extraordinary contribution to advancing adolescent health and well-being.

At the World Congress, IAAH awarded honorary fellowship to the right honorable Helen Clark, Board Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and former Prime Minister of New Zealand.

This fellowship recognizes her longstanding contribution to sustainable development, climate action, gender equality and women’s leadership, peace and justice, transparency and accountability in governance, and health – including adolescent health and wellbeing.  

Clark served three successive terms as Prime Minister of New Zealand between 1999 and 2008 during which she led policy debate on a wide range of economic, social, environmental, and cultural issues, including sustainability and climate change. She has been in the position of many firsts, not least the United Nations Development Programme Administrator for two terms from 2009 to 2017, the first woman to lead the organisation. Clark was also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group. She recently co-chaired the Independent Panel for Pandemic preparedness and response and a Lancet Commission on child and adolescent health called a Future for the World’s Children. Clark has been highly supportive of adolescent health as evident by her support of the PMNCH Adolescent and Youth Constituency, and her role in promoting the 2023 UN Global Summit for Adolescents.

Warmest congratulations to all of our awardees!

Share This