American Occupational Therapist and Leprosy Expert Selected for Prestigious Damien-Dutton Award
Linda Lehman, American Leprosy Missions’ Senior Advisor for Morbidity Management & Disability Prevention, has been selected to receive the prestigious Damien-Dutton Award for 2014.
Lehman has been selected for making a significant and lasting contribution to the global fight against leprosy. For more than three decades, she has traveled the world providing technical expertise and training on prevention of disability to everyone from ministries of health to community health workers.
The award was created by the Damien-Dutton Society for Leprosy Aid, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to ridding the world of leprosy. It is named after both Father Damien, a Belgian priest, canonized in 2009 for the care he gave to people affected by leprosy on the island of Molokai, Hawaii, and after Joseph Dutton, a U.S. civilian war veteran, who helped Father Damien.
Every year since 1953, the Damien-Dutton Society has presented an award to a notable person who has made a significant contribution towards the conquest of leprosy. Past award recipients include John F. Kennedy (posthumously), Drs. Paul and Margaret Brand and Mother Teresa. American Leprosy Missions received the award in 1981. More recently, in 2009, long-time staff member Dr. Jacques Kongawi won the award.
“Linda Lehman has devoted herself to the fight against leprosy at every level,” says American Leprosy Missions President and CEO Bill Simmons. “She has served selflessly so that suffering people around the world would have hope and healing. We are thrilled that her dedication to some of the poorest and most marginalized people on earth, those with leprosy, is being honored and recognized.”
Trained as an occupational therapist, Lehman also has a Master of Public Health degree from Emory University and a certification in pedorthics. She has developed training materials endorsed by the World Health Organization and the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP). Lehman began working for American Leprosy Missions in 1984.
About American Leprosy Missions
American Leprosy Missions, based in Greenville, South Carolina, is the oldest and largest Christian organization in the United States dedicated to curing and caring for people affected by leprosy and related diseases. It currently operates in countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas. During its more than 100-year history, American Leprosy Missions has provided holistic care to four million people around the world including medical treatment and training, Christian outreach, prevention of disability, community development and vaccine research.
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