Tony Iton MD, JD, MPH

src=”×300.jpg” alt=”” title=”Tony Iton” width=”277″ height=”300″ class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-7073″ />PSR-LA is proud to present the Founders Award to Anthony Iton for his long time commitment to promoting health by promoting  placed based solution to eliminate health disparities in disadvantaged communities. His work reminds us that our zip code should not determine our life expectancy. 

Dr. Iton has served as Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities at The California Endowment since 2009. Prior to that Dr. Iton served as both the director and County Health Officer for the Alameda County Public Health Department where he oversaw an agency with a focus on preventing communicable disease outbreaks, reducing the burden of chronic disease and obesity, and managing the county’s preparedness for biological terrorism.

Dr. Iton’s primary interest is the health of disadvantaged populations and the contributions of race, class, wealth, education, geography and employment to health status. His work shows us that race and place are inextricably linked to health issues, such as immunizations, chronic disease, HIV/AIDS, STDs, obesity, and even disaster preparedness.  He pushes public health practitioners to recognize and unravel the enduring consequences of structural poverty, institutional racism and other forms of systemic injustice on health. He further asserts that the only sustainable approach to eliminating health inequities is through the design of intensive, multi-sectoral, place-based interventions that are specifically designed to identify existing assets and build social, political and economic power among a critical mass of community residents in historically under-resourced communities.  In other words, community organizing is good for your health. 

Dr. Iton, earned his B.S. in Neurophysiology, with honors, from McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec, his J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has worked as an HIV disability rights attorney at the Berkeley Community Law Center, a health care policy analyst with Consumers Union West Coast Regional Office and as a physician and advocate for the homeless at the San Francisco Public Health Department.

He is the recipient of many awards, including the Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Public Health Work, awarded by the American Public Health Association. In February 2010, Dr. Iton was recognized by the California Legislative Black Caucus with the Black History Month Legends Award and presented on the floor of the California State Assembly with a resolution memorializing his life’s work and achievements.

Dr. Iton serves on the board of directors of the Public Health Institute, the Public Health Trust, the Prevention Institute, Jobs For The Future, and formerly served in various leadership roles at the Health Officers Association of California, the California Conference of Local Health Officers and the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

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