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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 2, 1995


Henry W. Foster Jr., 61 years old, is a practicing gynecologist and medical educator who is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading authorities on reducing infant mortality and preventing teen pregnancy and drug abuse.

Currently on a one-year sabbatical from Meharry Medical College, where he has served as dean of the school of medicine and acting president, Dr. Foster has been scholar-in-residence at the Association of Academic Health Centers in Washington, D.C., since July 1994.

The position as scholar-in-residence is the latest in a string of awards and honors to Dr. Foster that include induction into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; the Appreciation Award for Research and Teaching on Sickle Cell Anemia from Tuskegee University; and the Faculty Award for Excellence in Science and Technology from the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The "I Have a Future Program," developed and directed by Dr. Foster at Meharry, was recognized as one of this nation's "Thousand Points of Light" in 1991 by President George Bush. The program stresses abstinence and steers at-risk teens toward positive life choices through community-based partnerships and interventions.

A skilled communicator, Dr. Foster has lectured extensively at medical conferences and seminars around the world and colleagues expect him to put the Surgeon General's "bully pulpit" to excellent use in promoting health and preventing disease.

Dr. Foster, a proven consensus builder, has served on numerous boards, committees and councils, most of them concerned with improving perinatal outcomes. They include the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

He has also served as an examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has been a member of the editorial board of Academia, formerly known as the Journal of Medical Education of the American Association of Medical Colleges.

Dr. Foster earned a bachelor of science degree from Morehouse College in 1954 and was awarded his doctor of medicine degree by the University of Arkansas in 1958.

He conducted an internship at the Detroit Receiving Hospital, served two years as a medical officer in the U.S. Air Force, and conducted one year of residency training in general surgery at Malden Hospital in Malden, Mass. He completed a three-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.

Dr. Foster is married to the former St. Clair Anderson, a retired critical-care nurse. They have two children: Myrna, a middle school science teacher in McLean, Va., and Wendell, research director of a Walt Disney Co. television unit in Burbank, Calif.