The American Medical Association Tuesday named Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, as one of eight recipients of its 1990 Nathan Davis Awards for contributions by public officials to advancing U.S. health care.

Hatch, ranking minority member of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, was cited for his endeavors to increase the availability of safe, affordable and effective drugs for humans and animals.He was nominated by the Utah Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

"I appreciate the fact that the American Medical Association recognized my commitment to improving the nation's public health. I am proud to represent a state such as Utah which places such a great emphasis on the health-care needs of its citizens," Hatch said.

The awards recognize major achievements in the "the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health" by elected and career public officials in national, state and local governments.

The awards are named for Dr. Nathan Davis, AMA founder and first editor of its Journal of the American Medical Association. The first awards were presented in 1989.

"Americans are acting more responsibly to ensure better health for themselves and their families. This year's winners deserve high acclaim for making good health a top priority for every American," said Dr. James S. Todd, executive vice president of the AMA.