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William Yarber
Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention

Charles Rondot
School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation

Last modified: Monday, March 19, 2012

Indiana elder statesman Otis Bowen presented with IU's Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award

March 19, 2012

BREMEN, Ind. -- Otis Bowen, former governor of Indiana and secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was presented the 2012 Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award by the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention at Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

Otis Bowen

Photo by Midwest Vision Photography

Otis Bowen

Print-Quality Photo

The award, presented by RCAP senior director William L. Yarber, recognizes Bowen's contributions to efforts in the 1980s to raise public awareness about AIDS, at a time when little was known about the disease, and when fear and discrimination, as experienced by Ryan White, were rife.

Otis, 94, received the award March 13 at his residence near Bremen, Ind., where he retired after an active career in medical practice, politics and academia, where he was a professor of family medicine at his alma mater, Indiana University.

Bowen was secretary of HHS during the early part of the AIDS epidemic and was instrumental in supporting then U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop is his successful effort to send an informational AIDS pamphlet to every home in America. Koop received the 2010 Ryan White Leadership Award.

Ryan White acquired HIV from a tainted hemophilia treatment as a teenager in Indiana and went on to become a nationally known advocate for AIDS research and awareness before his death in 1990 at the age of 18.

About RCAP

The Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention, which began operations in March 1994, is headquartered at IU Bloomington. RCAP is a joint project of IU, the University of Kentucky and the University of Wyoming. The major focus of RCAP is the promotion of HIV/STD prevention in rural America, with the goal of reducing HIV/STD incidence. RCAP is supported, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About the School of HPER

Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation encompasses a broad spectrum of academic interests and professional fields. The School of HPER offers nearly 50 undergraduate and advanced degree programs through its departments of applied health science, kinesiology, environmental health, and recreation, park and tourism studies. To further its health and wellness initiative, Campus Recreational Sports provides sport and fitness services for the IU community and the public.