Bakersfield East Rotary on Friday honored local physician Dr. Tom Larwood and his wife, former Kern County Supervisor Pauline Larwood, for their work toward a vaccine for valley fever.

At a lunchtime meeting downtown, the group gave the Larwoods the Hans E. Einstein Life Achievement Award for their work combatting the disease.

In a related move, Bakersfield East Rotary announced a donation account to raise money for further valley fever vaccine research. The idea is that people can honor the Larwoods by contributing money to the account.

Information about how to donate to the account is available online at

Dr. Tom Larwood has for decades focused on valley fever, initially by testing patients, then by recruiting people for what turned out to be an unsuccessful vaccine, and later by raising awareness of the need for more research.

Pauline Larwood volunteered for valley fever vaccine trials in the 1980s, and later provided fundraising leadership.

For 20 years the couple have worked with the Bakersfield nonprofit Valley Fever Americas Foundation, Tom as a medical advisor, Pauline as a board member.

During those two decades, the foundation has raised $600,000 in support of a vaccine or cure for the disease. It also helped secure more than $15 million for valley fever research.