Press Release – ATLANTA – Public health professionals Marshall Kreuter and Martha Katz have established a scholarship at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University to help the next generation of students like them, people who entered college with a need for financial support and a keen interest in health equity and community engagement.
The Kreuter/Katz Family Scholarship, endowed by a gift from the couple, was announced Monday (April 3) during the Kreuter Katz Lecture on Health Equity. The annual event is sponsored by Healthcare Georgia Foundation and also named for the couple. Dr. Matthew Kreuter, who followed in his father’s public health footsteps and founded the Health Communication Research Laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis, was the keynote speaker this year.
The scholarship will award $1,000 a year, starting in the fall 2017.
Georgia State’s diverse student body and the desire to encourage those who share their passion for public health inspired Kreuter and Katz to create the scholarship fund.
“There’s a certain joy in being able to do this kind of work because of the benefits you see for others. If you’re in this field for as little as 10 years, you can see significant, measurable results,” said Katz, chair of the Board of Directors of the Georgia Health Foundation.
“If you want to see the impact of public health, look at how the number of motor vehicle deaths and injuries declined as a result of child safety seat and seatbelts policies,” she said. “Look at immunization rates, food safety, tobacco and smoking. There has been phenomenal change during our careers.”
“Marshall and Martha are great friends of the School of Public Health and they have made great contributions to public health research and practice,” said Michael Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health. “This gift is a powerful demonstration of their generosity and we are grateful that it will allow us to help more wonderful people like them enter this field.”
“Both of us were the first generation in our families to go to college,” Katz said. “Our parents valued education but they couldn’t really afford to send us to college.”
Kreuter and Katz earned their degrees from public universities, which they attended with financial support from scholarships and fellowships.
Kreuter is a retired health education expert who led the health education division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and taught classes during the formative years of Georgia State’s School of Public Health. He now serves on the school’s Board of Advisors.
“If you’re going to make a difference in the health of a community, you need to engage the residents of that community,” Kreuter said. “The goal is not just health for those with means but health for all regardless of their means. We hope we can contribute to young people getting enthusiastic about addressing problems globally and locally.”