University of South Florida


Dr. Bill Sappenfield receives Title V Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Bill Sappenfield, who recently retired from the USF College of Public Health, has received the Title V Lifetime Achievement Award by the federal government’s Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).

Screenshot of two men in split screen

    Screenshot of Bill Sappenfield, MD, MPH, right, receiving his award from Dr. Michael Warren, MCHB associate administrator.

The award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of maternal and child health over a sustained period of time.

In addition to providing distinguished service and influencing those in the field, candidates must also demonstrate inspirational leadership that impacted either programs of maternal child health or those focused on children with special health care needs.

Sappenfield, former director of college’s Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies, was acknowledged by Dr. Michael Warren, associate administrator of the MCHB, for his “over 30 years of experience in epidemiologic and public health research, teaching and practice in maternal and child health at the community, state and national level.”

Sappenfield not only led the Chiles Center for a dozen years, but he was also director of the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative (FPQC) and a USF Distinguished Professor. After a career as an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), he was hired by the Florida Department of Health and served as the state’s maternal and child health (MCH) epidemiologist. He has been recognized for his efforts to develop state preconception health indicators, investigate maternal mortality and shape best practices in MCH epidemiology.

“My passion has always been to try and make a measurable difference for women, children and families,” Sappenfield said as he accepted his award. “I’ve been blessed to have partners every step of the way. And you can’t really do anything in MCH without good and outstanding partners. It’s very important that we have leaders who reach down and develop the future leaders, and I had many during my career who were outstanding. I encourage each of you to recognize those underneath you,” he added. “You never know the full potential of the people you have.”

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