October 15, 2020
HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health Presents Award to Dr. Kwaku Ohene-Frempong
Washington, D.C. –Yesterday, the Assistant Secretary for Health, ADM Brett P. Giroir, M.D., presented the Assistant Secretary of Health (ASH) Exceptional Service Medal to Dr. Kwaku Ohene-Frempong recognizing him for his outstanding contributions on behalf of the millions of people worldwide suffering from sickle cell disease (SCD). The civilian medal is awarded for exceptional achievement to the cause of public health and medicine, and is the highest civilian award from the Public Health Service, which includes all health divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Ohene-Frempong is the first civilian recipient of the ASH Exceptional Service Medal.
Dr. Ohene-Frempong is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and is an inspirational force for the Global Coalition on Sickle Cell Disease. He continues to work tirelessly towards the Coalition’s goal of preventing the deaths of 9 million children with sickle cell disease by the year 2050. His experience as a clinician in Ghana serves a model for how to incorporate management of sickle cell disease in primary healthcare; and his mentorship and dedication to the disease have impacted thousands of children in Ghana and around the world.
“I am honored and humbled to present Dr. Ohene-Frempong with the Assistant Secretary for Health Exceptional Service Medal” said ADM Brett P. Giroir, M.D. “Dr. Ohene-Frempong deserves this award many times over. I want this award to bring light to his singular accomplishments as a physician, scientist, and humanitarian, but also to the cause of people living with sickle cell disease around the world. His diligent advocacy, clinical expertise and visionary leadership serve as an inspiration for the Global Coalition and the sickle cell community”
Throughout his 40 year career, Dr. Ohene-Frempong served on many professional organizations, boards, and committees dedicated to finding a cure for SCD. His leadership was instrumental in the development of newborn screening for sickle cell disease in Ghana and in Africa. He is a founding member of the Global Sickle Cell Disease Network, and has conducted important research including the first multi-center clinical trial of hydroxyurea therapy in children with sickle cell disease in the United States.
Dr. Ohene-Frempong’s contributions to public health and program development in Africa are numerous and ongoing. Recently Dr. Ohene-Frempong has been involved in the establishment of 12 new sickle cell disease treatment centers in regional hospitals in Ghana and is the President of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana.