Marilyn Fingerhut, James P. Keogh Award 2006

photo of James P. Keogh

James P. Keogh, MD

Marilyn Fingerhut, Ph.D. is being presented with the Keogh Award in recognition of her outstanding career of scholarship and leadership in preventing occupational injury and illness among workers. During her career, she has conducted innovative research on dioxin, established herself as a champion and expert for occupational women’s health issues, and has greatly accelerated occupational health risk assessment on a global level . She was instrumental in the development of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) and in the growth of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centers on Occupational Health. Dr. Fingerhut’s professional work is recognized nationally and internationally. She has received numerous awards for her service to CDC and NIOSH and exemplifies the qualities that the Keogh award seeks to recognize.

Dr. Fingerhut began her scientific and leadership roles at NIOSH in 1984, when she became the first woman to be appointed as a supervisor in the Industrywide Studies Branch. Her innovative work on dioxin received the Alice Hamilton Science Award in 1992 and provided key information for the classification of dioxin as a human carcinogen.

Dr. Fingerhut has demonstrated scientific leadership in the spectrum of public health hazards that face workers in the U.S. and globally. She led the development and implementation of NORA that established work-related safety and health research priorities for the entire occupational research community. She has facilitated the sharing of NORA research globally, and is actively involved in the re-prioritization process for the second decade of NORA.

During 2001-2002, Dr. Fingerhut was detailed to the WHO Occupational Health Group in Geneva to energize the largely passive network of approximately 50 WHO Collaborating Centers throughout the world . The Centers enthusiastically embraced her proposal to jointly decide the priority areas of work that would most benefit developing countries and to contribute projects to a five year work plan. As a result, the number of collaborating centers have nearly doubled!

In 2000, Dr. Fingerhut received the highest award of the U.S. Public Health Service, the Distinguished Service Medal. In 1967, she received the Commendation Medal for establishing the NIOSH Dioxin Registry, as well as the Unit Commendation Medal for streamlining data collection for that registry. She received a second Commendation Medal in 1991 for her dioxin work and a second Unit Commendation Medal for contributions to the successful completion of the largest reproductive study conducted by NIOSH.

NIOSH is very pleased to honor Dr. Fingerhut with this award in memory of Jim Keogh.

The James P. Keogh Award for Outstanding Service in Occupational Safety and Health award recognizes one current or former NIOSH employee each year for exceptional service to the field. The award is offered in honor of Dr. James P. Keogh, a tireless advocate for worker safety and health who died in June 1999, at the age of 49. The Keogh Award committee, chaired by Frank Hearl, NIOSH Chief of Staff, solicited nominations from NIOSH employees and judged the nominees on the basis of contributions above and beyond the call of duty.

Page last reviewed: October 17, 2011