The Center for Global Safe Water (now Center for Global Safe WASH) was founded in 2004, with the support and generosity of Dr. Eugene J. and Rose Gangarosa. Designed to address the critical public health problems attributed to lack of safe water, access to sanitation, and adequate personal hygiene in the developing world, the CGSW acts as an intersecting point for research, training, collaboration, and advocacy.
Watch the video below to understand the motivation and passion that the Gangarosas share for achieving safe water and sanitation access for all.
As a renowned physician, research scientist, educator, leader, and philanthropist, Dr. Gangarosa’s career in public health has spanned over fifty years. He is a physician internist with specialty training in the clinical, laboratory, epidemiological, and public health aspects of infectious diseases. He received his medical degree and a master’s degree in medical microbiology from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY.
Dr. Gangarosa continues to serve as an Emeritus Professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University. He is an internist with Fellowship status in the American College of Physicians.
His career has focused on intestinal infections, starting with a landmark 1959 study of the pathophysiology of cholera, which played an important early role in the development of oral rehydration therapy and which first identified what is now recognized as the major health problem called tropical enteropathy. More recently, he has helped develop and study safe water vessels designed for disinfection at the household level.
He served at (1) the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, where his histological studies of the gut disproved longstanding dogma that the intestinal epithelium sloughs during cholera; (2) the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the Departments of Microbiology and Medicine, where he was Director of the Pakistan Medical Research Center in Lahore, Pakistan; (3) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he was Director of the Epidemic Intelligence Services, Chief of the Enteric Diseases Branch and Deputy Director of the Bacterial Diseases Division, and (4) the American University of Beirut, where he was the first Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, restoring a renowned School of Public Health despite intense disruption during the Lebanese Civil War. He was then appointed Professor of Medicine at Emory University’s School of Medicine, continuing ongoing research with the World Health Organization and the Enteric Diseases Branch at the CDC. With important support from CDC from 1982-1990, Dr. Gangarosa played an important role in establishing the Emory School of Public Health.
Dr. Gangarosa’s awards and distinctions are numerous. In “recognition of his scientific contributions” he received CDC’s Medal of Excellence, its highest award for “advancing the knowledge of the epidemiology, etiology, pathogenesis, treatment, and control of enteric diseases”. For his contributions at Emory University, he received the University’s highest honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award, for “building the public health presence at Emory”. More recently, he received the University of Rochester’s Humanitarian Award, the American Public Health Association’s Distinguished Lectureship, and the Wade Hampton Frost Award. He is also the CEO of the Gangarosa International Health Foundation whose purpose is to promote safe water and sanitation for those most in need.
Rose Salamone Gangarosa is a retired educator who received her BS degree from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. She attended the Eastman School of Music and taught piano performance in a college course and to private students. She taught high school English and served as Principal of the Lahore American School in Lahore, Pakistan. She volunteered as a librarian at the American University of Beirut’s School of Agriculture. She is a Board Member of the Gangarosa International Health Foundation working with nongovernmental health organizations promoting safe water and sanitation.
The Gangarosas have endowed two chairs at the Rollins School of Public Health, the Eugene J. Gangarosa Chair in Safe Water, and the Rose Salamone Gangarosa Chair in Environmental Health. They have also endowed the Eugene J. Gangarosa Scholarship Fund that helps fund field practicums for Master of Public Health students.