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Dr. Helene Gayle

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Information about Dr. Helene Gayle

Profile image of Dr. Helene Gayle

Profession

Category:
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Epidemiologist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere.

Birthplace

Born:
8/16/1955
Birth Location:
Buffalo, New York

Profession

Category:
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Epidemiologist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere.

Birthplace

Born:
8/16/1955
Birth Location:
Buffalo
See how Dr. Helene Gayle is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Epidemiologist and public health administrator Dr. Helene D. Gayle was born on August 16, 1955, in Buffalo, New York. The daughter of social worker Marietta Spiller Dabney Gayle and businessman Jacob Astor Gayle, she attended Lancaster, New York’s Court Street Elementary School and Lancaster Middle School. Moving back to Buffalo, Gayle graduated with honors from Woodlawn Junior High School and then from Bennett High School in 1972. Briefly attending Baldwin-Wallace College, she graduated from Barnard College in New York City with her B.S. degree in psychology. Deciding to pursue medicine, Gayle earned her M.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she served as president of the Student National Medical Association. Gayle went on to earn her Masters of Public Health degree from John Hopkins University. She did her pediatric internship and residency at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Gayle was selected to enter the epidemiology training program at Atlanta’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 1984. By 2001, she had risen to director of the National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention of the CDC. Throughout, Gayle concentrated on the effects of AIDS on children, adolescents and families. In the early 1990s, she began to investigate the global ramifications of the disease and authored numerous reports on the real risk factors involved with AIDS. In so doing, she became one of the foremost experts on the subject, appearing on ABC’s Nightline and other news and information programs. Gayle also served as a medical researcher in the AIDS Division of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Gayle warned about substance abuse and advocated female condoms and vaginal virucides. In 2001, Gayle joined the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation as director of the HIV, TB and Reproductive Health Program and was responsible for administering its $300 million dollar budget. At the same time, she was named Assistant Surgeon General and Rear Admiral in the United States Public Health Service. In 2006, Gayle was chosen as the new president and CEO of CARE, the international poverty fighting organization.

Gayle is the recipient of many honors, including: the U.S. Public Health Service achievement medal, in 1989; the National Medical Association Scroll of Merit Award, 2002; Barnard College, Columbia University, Barnard Woman of Achievement, 2001 and the Women of Color, Health Science and Technology Awards, Medical Leadership in Industry Award in 2002. Gayle sits on many community boards. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Helene Gayle's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Helene Gayle lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her parents' personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes some of the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Helene Gayle remembers Court Street Elementary School in Lancaster, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her childhood hobbies
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her parents' civil rights involvement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Helene Gayle recalls how she became interested in medicine
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her experience at Woodlawn Junior High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Helene Gayle remembers attending Bennett High School in Buffalo, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Helene Gayle recalls the death of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Helene Gayle remembers being injured in a car accident as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Helene Gayle remembers Bennett High School's Black Student Union
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her friendships in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Helene Gayle remembers her decision to attend Barnard College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her mentors at Barnard College in New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Helene Gayle recalls her decision to attend University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dr. Helene Gayle recalls studying public health at Johns Hopkins University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Dr. Helene Gayle explains her interest in public health
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes the public health campaign against smallpox
  • Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her experience at Johns Hopkins University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Center for Disease Control
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Helene Gayle recalls initially being deterred from working with HIV
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her travels to Africa
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Helene Gayle recalls becoming director of the Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her work for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes the relationship of the African American community to public health
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes myths about HIV in the African American community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Helene Gayle talks about the occurrence of HIV among African Americans
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes HIV policy under President George Walker Bush
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes advancements in HIV research
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Helene Gayle reflects upon her leadership of public health organizations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Helene Gayle reflects upon the response to HIV in the United States
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Helene Gayle talks about the future of HIV treatment
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes the importance of philanthropy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Helene Gayle talks about Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Helene Gayle describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Helene Gayle talks about her relationship with Africa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Helene Gayle reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Helene Gayle reflects upon her legacy and how she would like to be remembered