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The Clintons Awarded by Harvard School of Public Health

Update Date: Oct 25, 2013 09:35 AM EDT

In celebration of Harvard School of Public Health's 100th year, the school hosted a ceremony that honored four individuals for their "high ideals and practical determination." One of the four honorary medals was presented to former United States president Bill Clinton. Bill took the stage to commemorate the progress and success of current day policy reforms that were created to improve and save the lives of millions of Americans.

"Today you have recognized through us that the Harvard School of Public Health is all about - elevating our common humanity and building networks of cooperation in a world where we are more interdependent and power is more diffuse," Clinton stated according to the Harvard Crimson.

Clinton added, "The 21st century will truly belong to people like my daughter, of whom I'm so proud, and to the students. And those that think that what we have in common is more important than our differences."

Clinton's daughter, Chelsea Clinton was also awarded that night with the Next Generation Award. This award recognizes someone under 40-years-old who has made a commitment to improving health care for all. Clinton is currently the vice chair of the Clinton Foundation. Clinton's latest initiative is to increase awareness regarding young prisoners in the U.S. system. She stated that within the U.S., there are around 53,000 juveniles in the prison system and no state has any nutritional or physical activity guidelines for these children.

"To make change, you have to have some fundamental dissatisfaction, and I think young people are disproportionately qualified to do that," Chelsea Clinton said according to the Wall Street Journal. "I think we haven't succumbed yet in general to cynicism or inertia or patience."

The school also honored Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank Group and co-founder of Partners in Health, and Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former prime minister of Norway and the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO).

"Health for us is crucial and central, but global health is linked to human rights, education, and the environmental concerns that we are creating in the way that we are dealing with each other and with the planet," said the first honoree Brundtland. "The [worst] thing that is challenging all of humanity is climate change."

The Harvard School of Public Health was opened in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School for Health Officers.

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