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Dr. Jacqueline Sherris, PATH’s vice president of Global Programs, is one of nine Seattle-area leaders to receive Seattle magazine’s Global Health Award for outstanding work on behalf of sick and suffering people worldwide. Sherris is being honored for contributing to PATH’s work to strengthen developing countries’ capacity for protecting women and girls from cervical cancer.

Sherris and the other winners are featured in the July issue of Seattle magazine, which reached newsstands this week.

A lifesaving vaccine

Sherris, a former middle school and high school science teacher, earned a PhD in science education and joined PATH in 1987 as a program officer in our reproductive health program. As program leader from 2002 to 2007, she oversaw projects to increase access to cervical cancer prevention, including preparing the way for new vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV)—the most common precursor to cervical cancer—for introduction in the developing world, where women are much more likely to die from the cancer than in wealthy countries. The vaccines are already being used in developed countries.

As a result of the work of Sherris and her colleagues, women and girls in four countries are among the first in the developing world to be vaccinated against HPV, and decision-makers in other countries now have important evidence and strategies for introducing the vaccines without delay. More women can now receive lifesaving protection from cervical cancer.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” Sherris says in Seattle magazine, “but we have been able to demonstrate that you can make a difference.”

Former PATH CEO among the winners

The magazine’s inaugural Global Health Awards are part of its annual Top Docs issue recognizing the region’s best physicians. Among the other winners for global health is former PATH president and CEO Dr. Christopher J. Elias, who now leads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program.

Sherris and the other top global health leaders and physicians will be honored at an awards banquet June 20 in Seattle.

More information

Posted June 15, 2012.