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Leaders of Merck & Co., Inc. and the Institute of Medicine Honored at 8th Annual Project HOPE Gala

NEW YORK CITY, June 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Project HOPE, the global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, today announced the recipients of the Project HOPE Global Health Awards. The awards, which recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward improving health worldwide, will be presented at the organization's eighth annual gala tonight at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.
This year's gala will highlight the success of Project HOPE's HealthWorks program, which provides health services and education to women working in textile factories in Asia, and the organization's relief work in Nepal following two earthquakes that devastated the country in April and May.





The annual Project HOPE Global Health Awards, inaugurated in 2012, are presented to individuals whose achievements and daily contributions support the core mission of Project HOPE – to make long-term, sustainable health care available in communities around the world, especially those most in need.

This year's honorees are:

"Project HOPE would not be able to do what we do without champions for global health like Ken and Victor, who contribute to our work in so many ways," said Richard T. Clark, Executive Chairman of Project HOPE. "We are most grateful for their support as we work together to eliminate disparities in the quality and availability of health care throughout the world. I am honored to present Project HOPE's Global Health Awards to these two outstanding individuals."

About the 2015 Project HOPE Global Health Awards Recipients

The Project HOPE Global Health Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has championed health issues globally. Kenneth Frazier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Merck & Co. Inc., continues a more than 50-year tradition at Merck of supporting the work of Project HOPE through donations of cash, vaccines and medicines and the donated services of Merck executives on Project HOPE's board and in the field. Through Frazier's leadership, Merck has helped Project HOPE respond to humanitarian crises such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Frazier is recognized as a visionary leader in the pharmaceutical industry.

"Merck shares with Project HOPE a sincere desire to address significant unmet need and provide humanitarian assistance for people in some of the most troubling situations across the globe," said Kenneth Frazier. "Tackling complex global health challenges requires vision, commitment and partnership, and we look forward to continuing to work together to improve health and well-being for people in vulnerable communities."

Victor Dzau, M.D. will be presented with the Partner Award, which acknowledges an individual who has been a lifelong champion for global health issues. As President of the Institute of Medicine, past President and CEO of the Duke University Health System and his seminal research in cardiovascular medicine and genetics, Dr. Dzau has dedicated his life to helping others. At Duke - one of the four medical universities in North Carolina that participate in the Dr. Charles A. Sanders and Project HOPE International Residency Scholarship program – he has been an inspirational and driving force behind the school's move toward internationalism, including the creation of the Duke Global Health Institute and the Duke Institute for Health Innovation.

"I'm honored to receive this prestigious award from Project HOPE, which does so much to improve health systems and provide humanitarian assistance for people who are most in need," said Victor Dzau, M.D. "IOM shares many common values and goals, and we look forward to collaborating closely and working together to address critical global health issues and improve human conditions worldwide."

Project HOPE has a 56-year legacy of providing health care and humanitarian assistance in over 100 countries. In partnership with a committed global community – including U.S. and foreign governments, global corporations, foundations and individual donors - tremendous advances have been made.

About Project HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health crises with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now conducts land-based medical training and health education in more than 30 countries. Visit our website projecthope.org and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg.

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=33611

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=33612

CONTACT: Geraldine Carroll Project HOPE Tel. +1-540-257-3746 Email: gcarroll@projecthope.org

Source: Project HOPE