Port Orange Elks Lodge #2723 provided an update on one of their 2016 Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student scholarship winners – Dalton Price – who went on to be the highest-scoring male applicant from Florida, later giving a speech at the Florida Elks state convention in which he expressed his gratitude to the community. A graduate of Spruce Creek High School, he began his freshman year at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in August 2016 studying anthropology and infectious disease biology. Working in a variety of health care sectors over the years, he has been able to develop his interest in infectious disease outbreaks and public health responses. Domestically, he has worked with Aetna, The Microbiome Coalition, The diaTribe Foundation, and four research institutes and has received funding to write a book about the U.S. health care system. Over time, he has become more interested in international contexts and worked with the World Health Organization, Partners in Health and other groups in Malaysia, Egypt, Jordan and Peru. For his work, he was awarded the Future Global Leaders Fellowship, Jack Kent Cooke International Award, Gateway Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Fellowship, John F. Kennedy Memorial Award, Forbes Under 30 Award and nearly 10 research grants. Additionally, he has published opinion pieces with HuffPost, Common Dreams, Daytona Beach News Journal and the Cornell Daily Sun.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Price has returned home early from his senior year at Cornell and is now working with the Florida Department of Health on the Volusia response. He will travel to the United Kingdom in October to begin his doctorate degree in medical anthropology at the University of Oxford. For his graduate research, he will spend three to four years traveling between the UK and Venezuela studying how political climates and forms of government impact the trajectory and spread of infectious disease. After completing his doctorate, he plans to move to New York City and start medical school at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine where he will specialize in infectious disease medicine and global health.
As a physician-anthropologist working in global health, Price hopes to move the field of infectious disease response forward with new perspectives. Though creating healthy populations raises many medical questions, he believes there are also countless social, political, economic, cultural and environmental concerns that must also be addressed.
In the long term, he hopes to one day become Florida’s Surgeon General. After his tenure there, he hopes to move into more international spheres and work in a high-level capacity with the World Health Organization. He is deeply grateful for the amount of support he has received from the Elks community, especially Port Orange lodge. He wholeheartedly believes in the African proverb “it takes a village” and considers the Elks part of his village, one that is deeply invested in his success and one he plans to give back to along the way. Pictured at Spruce Creek High School in 2016 are Dr. Todd Sparger, principal; Price; Frank Kuczkowski, Exalted Ruler; and Paul Leonard, scholarship chair.