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Family Honors the Legacy of Dr. Stephen B. Thacker by Inspiring Others to Save Lives
Stephen B. Thacker, MD, MSc, ASG/RADM (Ret.), U.S. Public Health Service, EIS '76, contributed a legacy of extraordinary leadership to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and unyielding dedication and contributions to the field of epidemiology and to public health science, including helping to identify Legionnaires disease. He was equally dedicated to his family, friends and community.
To honor Dr. Thacker's life and service to public health, including 37 years at CDC, the Thacker Family established the Stephen B. Thacker Fund in 2013 to support the CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp. The camp is an interdisciplinary educational program held at CDC headquarters in Atlanta. Admission is free, but highly competitive. The camp is open to high school students during the summer before their junior or senior years. Over the course of five days, campers from around the country are immersed in the diverse field of public health.
The Stephen B. Thacker Fund also supports special projects at the Stephen B. Thacker CDC Library and mentorships.
Maria Thacker Goethe, Dr. Thacker's daughter and an advocate for both public health and the CDC Foundation, said that giving to the CDC Foundation is perfect for those who are passionate about public health and want to see their money go toward something that is meaningful, sustainable and saves lives.
In February 2018, in remembrance of the fifth anniversary of Dr. Thacker's death, the Thacker family made a $5,000 challenge gift to raise support for the Stephen B. Thacker Family Fund. With their tremendous support, and that of many friends and loved ones, the campaign raised an additional $8,490 within three months.
In addition, Maria and her mother, Luz Fortes-Thacker, have both made the Stephen B. Thacker Fund a beneficiary of their estate plans.
Maria says, "Dad's legacy is more than a library or a summer camp. I believe he would prefer the teens who attend the camp be inspired to go out into life and try to change the world for the better."