Matthew Lee Girvin Award

This award honors the memory of Matthew Girvin, '94 MPH IH, who died in January 2001 while serving on a United Nations surveying mission.

The award is presented to a recent graduate of the Rollins School of Public Health who exemplifies Matthew's selfless dedication to the field of public health and who has made significant contributions toward improving the lives and health of others.

  Photo of Matthew Girvin

The 2013-2014 Matthew Lee Girvin Award was presented to
Katie Wootten Deal, 05 MPH

Katie Wooten

Katie Wootten Deal graduated from the Rollins School of Public Health in 2005 with an MPH in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education. During her time at Rollins, Katie strengthened her interest in mental health (particularly suicide prevention), working at The Carter Center Mental Health Program and focusing her thesis work on suicide prevention. In 2006, she accepted a position working for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) in Washington, DC.

Katie's early work at SPRC involved building the capacity of grantees, coalitions, and other organizations to take a public health approach to suicide prevention. She provided technical assistance and training and developed resources designed to enhance our nation's suicide prevention workforce and help practitioners implement effective prevention policies and programs. After nearly five years, she became the Deputy Secretary of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance). In this role, she was charged with overseeing the operations of the Action Alliance, the 200-member public-private partnership providing leadership to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP). Among the Action Alliance's accomplishments are the significant expansion of national leadership for suicide prevention; revision of the NSSP; advancement of the strategy in areas such as research, health care, and public communication; and the involvement of suicide attempt survivors and others with "lived experience" in suicide prevention efforts.

Katie has spent the past eight years working to enhance our nation’s suicide prevention infrastructure and helping both local practitioners and national leaders prioritize and address this important issue. Her approach has been described as unique, and her nominators praised her for turning "research and science into effective practice at the national, state, and local levels … to significantly advance the nation’s public health approach to prevention in a burgeoning and historically treatment-oriented field." In 2013, she was nominated as a White House Champion for Change for public health and prevention.

A true champion for mental health and suicide prevention and leader in her field, we are pleased to recognize Katie with our Rollins School of Public Health Matthew Lee Girvin Award.

  1. The individual shall be a recent graduate of Rollins and will have made an outstanding contribution to public health at a community, state, national, or international level.
  2. The contribution(s) should have been made subsequent to receiving a degree from Rollins.


Please download, complete, and return the Award Nomination Form.

All nominations are confidential and will be considered for three years, unless otherwise indicated by the nominee. If needed, the committee will contact the nominee to update the application.

For more information, please contact:

Michelle James
Director, Alumni & Constituent Relations
Rollins School of Public Health
1518 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30322
Tel: (404) 727-4740
Fax: (404) 727-9853