Black Caucus of Health Workers Annual Awards

BCHW has established awards to recognize those who have made important contributions to promoting public health among the most vulnerable people and those who have enabled the group to grow, prosper and pursue its mission to improve the health of ethnic and racial minorities through contributions to sound science, scholarship, research, legislative action, and community service.

The Hildrus A. Poindexter Award

Awardees must be BCHW members for at least two consecutive years and have made notable contributions to the field of public health in one or more areas; exceptional merit in community service, research or teaching.

Hildrus Augustus Poindexter
(May 10, 1901 – April 21, 1987) was a bacteriologist who studied the epidemiology of tropical diseases.

Poindexter was the son of tenant farmers in rural Alabama. He attended Lincoln University, PA, graduating in 1924, then went on to Harvard Medical School in 1929 with a Ph.D. in Microbiology. As a noted bacteriologist, Dr. Poindexter became the head of the Medical College at Howard University in 1934.

In 1948, Senior Surgeon Poindexter was appointed the director of the Mission to Liberia, whose goal was to help the Liberian government in sanitation planning and the control of infectious diseases. In the 1940's and 1950's, Poindexter’s name became virtually synonymous with the study of malaria and other tropical diseases. This work made him one of the most influential (and most overlooked) scientists of all time. Dr. Poindexter published his autobiography, My World of Reality, in 1973. He was a Prince Hall Mason and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Community Service Award

Awardees must have maintained APHA membership for at least 3 consecutive years and have exceptional work in a minority community that is recognized by the Black Caucus of Health Workers.

Rep Louis Stokes Legislative

 Service Award

Awardees must have a history of advocacy around public health issues that impact communities of color.

Louis Stokes was a Democratic politician and the first black elected congressman from Ohio, serving  30 years in the United States House of Representatives.

Born in Cleveland, Rep. Stokes and his brother Carl B. Stokes lived in one of the first federally funded housing projects, the Outhwaite Homes. Stokes served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946. After attending Western Reserve University and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Rep. Stokes began practicing law in Cleveland in 1953. Stokes argued the seminal "stop and frisk" case of Terry v. Ohio before the United States Supreme Court in 1968. Later in 1968, he was elected to the House, representing the 21st District of Ohio on Cleveland's East Side. He shifted to the newly created 11th District, covering much of the same area following a 1992 redistricting. Stokes served 15 terms in total, retiring in 1999, noting that he wanted to leave “without ever losing an election.”

Rep. Stokes' tenure in the House of Representatives included service on the House Appropriations Committee, where he was influential in bringing revenue to Cleveland. He was particularly interested in veterans' issues and secured funds for health-care facilities for veterans in Cleveland. In the 1970s, Stokes served as Chairman of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, charged with investigating the murders of President John F. Kennedy and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.. Stokes also served on the House committee that investigated the Iran-Contra Affair. Rep. Stokes was a Price Hall Mason and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. 
(February 23, 1925 - August 18, 2015)