Thursday, March 26, 2009

Koh Nomination a Solid Choice

President Obama's nomination of Dr. Howard Koh to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Health should get enthusiastic support from the public health and prevention communities.

As Commissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1997-2003, Dr. Koh oversaw four public health hospitals and a staff of over 3000 professionals. In this capacity, he emphasized the power of prevention and strengthened the state’s commitment to eliminating health disparities. He was involved in establishing and then overseeing the groundbreaking Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program.

Dr. Koh is currently the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice, and Director of the Division of Public Health Practice at the Harvard School of Public Health. A major focus of his research has been on community-based strategies to reduce cancer disparities and promote cancer prevention and early detection. As Director of the Harvard School of Public Health Center for Public Health Preparedness (HSPH-CPHP), he has promoted education about bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, and other emerging health threats.

“Howard Koh is a world-renowned expert on public health and cancer, and his tenure as commissioner of public health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts gives him the hands-on experience needed to address the challenges facing those on the front lines of our private and public health care systems,” said Dr. Corinne G. Husten, interim president of Partnership for Prevention. “Partnership for Prevention enthusiastically supports Dr. Koh’s nomination and we look forward to working with him to make prevention a focal point of efforts to reform our health system.”


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