Obama Selects New York City Health Commissioner To Head CDC
President Obama announced on Friday that he has chosen Thomas Frieden an infectious disease specialist, currently serving as the New York City health commissioner as the next director of the CDC, the AP/Google.com reports (AP/Google.com, 5/15). Frieden, who previously worked on tuberculosis control in India, is expected to take office next month and his appointment does not require Senate confirmation.
Frieden has cut a "high and sometimes contentious profile" during his seven years as New York City's health commissioner, according to the New York Times. "He led the crusade to ban smoking in restaurants and bars, pushed to make HIV testing a routine part of medical exams and defended a program that passes out more than 35 million condoms a year," the newspaper reports. When Frieden arrives at the CDC, he will face a "looming decision about whether and how to produce a swine flu vaccine" and "serious morale and organizational issues," the New York Times writes (Harris/Hartocollis, New York Times, 5/15).
Partners in Health Cofounder Said To Be Considering Position Coordinating U.S. Global Health Initiatives
In related news, Paul Farmer, the founder of Partners in Health, told faculty members at Harvard Medical School on Monday that he is in discussions with the U.S. State Department about the possibility of accepting an appointment that would involve coordinating U.S. global health initiatives, the Boston Globe reports. It is not clear which job Farmer is discussing, according to the Boston Globe, but he reportedly told people at the meeting on Monday that he is seriously considering it.
The Boston Globe writes that Farmer "has crafted lifesaving projects from Haiti to Rwanda" and gained "international acclaim for more than two decades of work treating the poorest villagers in the poorest countries, while also carrying out groundbreaking medical research and reshaping health policies in the Third World" (Smith, Boston Globe, 5/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.