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Author Topic: Condom loving NYC health commissioner tapped to lead CDC  (Read 885 times)

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Offline Miss Philicia

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Condom loving NYC health commissioner tapped to lead CDC
« on: May 15, 2009, 03:53:34 PM »
full article

Obama Taps NYC Health Commissioner to Head CDC
By Debbi Wilgoren and Michael Shear
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, May 15, 2009 10:26 AM

New York City Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, known for his aggressive and sometimes controversial efforts to limit smoking and consumption of trans fats in the nation's largest metropolis, has been chosen by President Obama to direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House said this morning.

Acting CDC director Richard E. Besser, who steered the Atlanta-based agency through the first weeks of the global swine flu epidemic, will return to his previous role as head of the CDC's Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response.

In a statement, Obama called Frieden, 48, "an expert in preparedness and response to health emergencies" who in seven years as New York City's health commissioner has "been at the forefront of the fight against heart disease, cancer and obesity, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS, and in the establishment of electronic health records."

"Dr. Frieden has been a leader in the fight for health care reform, and his experiences confronting public health challenges in our country and abroad will be essential" at the CDC, the statement said.

Frieden, who spent 12 years at the CDC before becoming New York's health commissioner, will return and take the helm of the agency in early June.

In announcing the appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation, the White House said that Frieden's anti-cigarette campaign reduced the number of smokers in New York by 350,000 and "cut teen smoking in half."

The city has increased cancer screenings, dramatically reduced deaths from the AIDS virus and "implemented the largest community electronic health records project in the country" under his tenure, the White House said. Frieden also oversaw New York's response to incidents of anthrax and drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Frieden led efforts to ban smoking in New York bars and restaurants and to ban trans fats in food. He also pushed to require restaurants to post calorie information on their menus in an effort to reduce obesity.

Those efforts sparked criticism from some groups that he was pushing government interference too far. Conservatives also balked at his creation of a program to pass out millions of condoms each year in an effort to slow the spread of AIDS. But others applauded his zeal, hailing him as an activist health-care leader who was good for the city.

"When it comes to aggressive, innovative and effective approaches to help people live better, longer lives, our Health Commissioner Tom Frieden really stands in a class by himself," New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in a statement, adding, "Because of Tom's leadership . . . New Yorkers are living longer."

The CDC is the nation's lead agency to prevent and address health problems from infectious disease to unhealthy lifestyles to the threat of bioterrorism.
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