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APHA honors Daniel Swartzman with Lifetime Achievement Award

November 1, 2021

The American Public Health Association (APHA) awarded its 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award in Public Health Law to Daniel Swartzman, JD, MPH, associate professor of Healthcare Administration and Public Health Sciences at Loyola University Chicago’s Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health. Swartzman accepted the award at the APHA Annual Meeting & Expo in Denver, Colorado, October 24-27.

The Lifetime Achievement in Public Health Law is awarded annually to an individual who, over the course of his or her career, has made significant contributions to the field of public health law. Contributions must involve two of the following areas: research, teaching and mentoring, or practice and advocacy.

“We are incredibly proud to have Dan here at the Parkinson School,” says Elaine Morrato, DrPH, MPH, CPH, founding dean, Parkinson School. “He is a dedicated educator and outstanding lawyer, who has devoted his career to improving public health policy and addressing structural prejudices. I can think of no one more deserving to receive this year’s lifetime achievement award for public health law.”

For more than 40 years, Swartzman has taught public policymaking, social justice, and health management to graduate and undergraduate students in public health and healthcare administration. He is a recipient of numerous awards for teaching, having been recognized by his students with the “Golden Apple” four times while on faculty at the University of Illinois (UIC) School of Public Health. In 2017, his former UIC students helped to endow the “Daniel Swartzman Public Health Ethics Lectureship.”

When I became a lawyer, my lifelong goal was to use my work to ‘do Good.’ I have been blessed over the years to find that meaning in teaching and public health advocacy,” says Swartzman. "To now be recognized for that work by my peers at the APHA is a humbling but wonderful compliment."

In addition to his academic work, Swartzman opened his own law practice in 1985 focusing on toxic torts representing hundreds of people whose lives and homes were threatened by chemicals – and private brownfield reclamations, helping to reclaim hundreds of millions of dollars of property back to safe and productive use. He also played key roles in implementing the Clean Air Act Amendments and helping establish an on-going lobbying presence, the Illinois Environmental Council, for Illinois environmentalists. Over the years, he has presented hundreds of times at conferences worldwide, including 20 abstracts to the APHA.