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Global Sexual Health and Family Planning Topics of University of Pittsburgh’s Fourth Annual John C. Cutler Lecture


The Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) at the University of Pittsburgh will present the fourth annual John C. Cutler Lecture on Global Health, at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 27, in room G23, Parran Hall, 130 DeSoto St., Oakland. The featured speaker will be Willard Cates Jr., M.D., M.P.H., president of research for Family Health International, a leading nonprofit public health organization that manages research and field activities in more than 70 countries.

The lecture, titled “Sexual Health and Personal Choices: John Cutler’s Quiet Legacy,” is free and open to the public. It will explore the transition of family planning as a public health field to the broader context of reproductive health, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV infection. It examines the role of contraceptive choice and population growth in today’s world and presents a vision for a broader approach.

Dr. Cates attended Yale University, graduating in 1964 with a major in history. He received an Ehrman Scholarship to attend Kings’ College, Cambridge University, England, where he obtained a masters degree in history in 1966. He returned to Yale University School of Medicine in 1966, graduating in 1971 with a combined M.D./M.P.H. degree. His clinical training was in internal medicine at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville.

In 1974, Dr. Cates joined the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta in its Abortion Surveillance Branch, where he was chief of this unit between 1975 and 1982. In 1982, he became the director of the Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Under his leadership, the division integrated HIV prevention activities into STD control programs. In 1991, he became the director of the Division of Training at CDC to lead its scientific training functions, including the Epidemic Intelligence Service program and CDC’s Preventive Medicine Residency. In 1994, he joined Family Health International in North Carolina.

The annual lecture is in honor of Dr. Cutler, who was an emeritus professor in GSPH’s department of behavioral and community health sciences. Bernard D. Goldstein, M.D., professor of environmental and occupational health and former dean of GSPH, established the John C. Cutler Memorial Global Health Fund in 2003 to honor Dr. Cutler’s legacy of global health, leadership, research, practice, education and devotion to nurturing the careers of our future public health leaders.

Prior to joining GSPH in 1967, Dr. Cutler served as both assistant surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service and deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization. As head of GSPH’s population division, Dr. Cutler helped to establish and coordinate major international health projects in West Africa and several Third World countries and was instrumental in the development of a joint program with the university’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. He was especially noted for developing research and curriculum in the areas of venereal disease control and population. Dr. Cutler died in 2003 at the age of 87.

The lecture will be webcast live and will be available for online viewing. For more information on the lecture, please visit GSPH’s Web site at or call the GSPH dean’s office at 412-383-8849.

Founded in 1948 and fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, GSPH is world-renowned for contributions that have influenced public health practices and medical care for millions of people. One of the top-ranked schools of public health in the United States, GSPH was the first fully accredited school of public health in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with alumni who are among the leaders in their fields of public health. A member of the Association of Schools of Public Health, GSPH currently ranks third among schools of public health in National Institutes of Health funding received. The only school of public health in the nation with a chair in minority health, GSPH is a leader in research related to women’s health, HIV/AIDS and human genetics, among others. For more information about GSPH, visit the school’s Web site at


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