The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors has honored Peter Whiticar, chief of the Hawaii State Department of Health STD/AIDS Prevention Branch, with The Nicholas A. Rango MD Leadership Award for exemplifying superior leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
"This leadership award recognizing Peter’s work against HIV and AIDS is a testament to his years in this fight," stated Gov. Neil Abercrombie. "It is also a reminder that issues like HIV and AIDS are not abstractions, but real challenges to real people. Leadership is when talent and commitment such as that embodied in Peter Whiticar is flourishing. Hawaii is fortunate to have a public servant of his caliber."
Whiticar is a resident of Honolulu and has 18 years of public service with the state.
"I was deeply honored to receive this award while remembering that we have so much work still to do in prevention and care of HIV, STD, and viral hepatitis in Hawaii, nationally and around the world," Whiticar said. "I accepted the award in recognition of all the work done by so many colleagues in the Hawaii Department of Health and partners in the community."
The award was presented at the NASTAD annual meeting on May 22 in Washington D.C. The award is named for one of NASTAD’s founding members, Dr. Nicholas A. Rango, who was director of the New York State AIDS Institute before his death of AIDS in 1993.
During the award ceremony, Whiticar’s advocating for the interests of Hawaii and other smaller states was highlighted. He is also known for his efforts to promote greater integration of HIV, STD and viral hepatitis services as they can impact the same individuals at risk.
Health Director Loretta Fuddy remarked, "Peter is absolutely deserving of this award. He is highly regarded for his tireless efforts in support of HIV prevention and care.
Whiticar has been chief of the STD/AIDS Prevention Branch of DOH since 1994. He serves on the NASTAD Executive Committee and served previously as the elected chairperson of the organization. NASTAD represents the nation’s primary health agency with responsibility for administering HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis healthcare, prevention, education, and supportive service programs funded by state and federal governments.