Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

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Event Recording: Music Across Generations

Event Recording: Music Across Generations

Music can bring generations together for connection and collaboration, inspiration and celebration. Join us as we explore the power of cogeneration by learning more about an intergenerational orchestra, big band, and choir. This hour-long event features the Heart of...

The Best 13 Minutes You’ll Spend This Week

The Best 13 Minutes You’ll Spend This Week

Just after the Oscars, I wrote about The Last Repair Shop, the 2024 Academy Award-winning documentary about four older people who repair the 80,000 free musical instruments used by public school students in Los Angeles. It’s a beautiful film about a vital...


Roger Bernier

National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006

Putting the public in public health

Roger Bernier, 61, an epidemiologist with the National Immunization Program, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), witnessed first hand the deep lack of trust between some citizens and government at a 2001 congressional hearing on vaccinations and the controversy surrounding vaccines and autism. A citizen’s comment–“Your CDC research is dead on arrival”–served as a wake up call to Bernier. He saw the need either to improve the CDC’s relationship with some segments of the public or face even greater erosion in people’s willingness to have their children vaccinated. Bernier’s solution was to attempt to build trust by bringing together citizens and government officials with diverse views to work jointly on developing and analyzing public health policy choices. In 2003 Bernier worked with the Keystone Center in Keystone Colorado to convene a diverse group of citizens and professionals to design a new public engagement model called the Vaccine Policy Analysis CollaborativE (VPACE). In 2005, a consortium of 14 separate organizations worked collaboratively to pilot test the VPACE model on a real-life issue. The pilot project succeeded in bringing the public’s viewpoint to the attention of federal officials in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as they created their pandemic influenza policy guidance in 2005.