For distinguished achievements in public health administration, thus strengthening the community health.
Recently named commissioner of health of the city of New York, Dr. Baumgartner is the first woman to achieve this high rank, which she has approached through successive steps as district health officer, as bureau chief of Maternal and Child Health and as assistant commissioner in New York City. She has also served for two years as associate chief of the United States Children's Bureau. Throughout her career, she has been a vocal advocate of better health for mothers and children and has made her mark on many enterprises, notably on the school health services of a great metropolis. She has been well described as an advocate of "pandemic well-being." During these productive years, Dr. Baumgartner has maintained a creative interest in the history of medicine, and a sensitive awareness of the social and aesthetic backgrounds which make life worth preserving.
It is indeed unique to find an administrative organizer and diligent advocate of more abundant life for the less-privileged who shows a rare vision of the next steps to be taken, but who coupes these virtues with personal charm, warm human sympathy and dauntless courage. As a tireless teacher, an eternal optimist, and an ardent devotee of the highest ideals of public health at home and abroad, Leona Baumgartner has well earned not only the acclaim of her profession but also the gratitude of the public.