An alumni of Havre de Grace Colored High School, Dr. Williams,MD, MPH, has spent the last five decades providing comprehensive health services to children in the United States, Tanzania and the Gambia. Early in his career as a Pediatrician and Specialist in Adolescent Medicine, he started a series of creative outreach programs which offered primary health care to children in at-risk families in Boston, including those with Sickle Cell Disease. The success of these programs resulted in the Pediatric Clinic of the Martha Eliot Health Center of Harvard University being named, “The Irving C. Williams Pediatric Clinic.”
While employed at the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, working at Bugando Hospital in Mwanza, Dr. Irving Williams and his wife Elvira, co-founded the organization, Adventures in Health, Education, and Agricultural Development (AHEAD, Inc.), to further his African health initiatives. This self-help, community-based, preventive health program is designed to reduce mortality and improve the health status of people living in underserved communities in the United States and developing countries. To date, more than 1.5 million children have benefited directly or indirectly from Dr. Williams’ work.
Dr. William received The Cardinal Health Children’s Care Award from the World of Children for his exceptional work helping over 1.5 million children in the United States, Tanzania and The Gambia. This award was established to recognize individuals who have made a significant lifetime contribution to the health and well-being of children. In addition, Her Royal Highness Princess Anne of England presented the Ashden Trust Award, the world’s only award for renewable energy, to Williams in 2002 for AHEAD’s successful water pasteurization projects that use solar energy. Pasteurized water helps to prevent diarrheal diseases among infants and children. AHEAD has received accolades from UNICEF for its services in increasing immunization rates from 27% to 98% coverage of children five years and under in AHEAD’s target villages.