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American Sociological Association: David Mechanic Award Statement
David Mechanic has brought to bear his considerable scholarship in medical sociology to important applications. His rapid rise on the rungs of academia at the University of Wisconsin and Rutgers University, however, is but the institutional backdrop for his truly outstanding record of scholarship and for his respected and influential presence in a variety of state and federal bodies, including participation in no fewer than 29 federal panels. In addition to his membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has served as Chair of a panel that was part of the President’s Commission on Mental Health, Chair of the Subcommittee on Mental Health Statistics, and as Chair of the Program Committee of the National Institute on Aging. In many of the policy-shaping bodies in which he has participated, he has been a clear voice promoting large-scale data efforts that track major trends in health and health services. Probably more than any other individual, his advocacy brought sociology into forums influencing health policies.