Obama appoints Frieden to head C.D.C.

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has appointed Dr. Thomas Frieden as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.). In early June Dr. Frieden will take over for Dr. Rich Besser, acting director of the C.D.C. Dr. Besser, who has led the C.D.C.’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response for the past four years, will continue in that role.

Dr. Frieden has been commissioner of the New York City Health Department since January 2002, one of the nation’s largest public health agencies and one that has been at the forefront of a number of health-related initiatives in recent years. Prior to joining the N.Y.C.H.D., Dr. Frieden worked at the C.D.C. from 1990 to 2002, including as an epidemiologic intelligence service officer in the early 1990s.

"Dr. Frieden is an expert in preparedness and response to health emergencies, and 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," Mr. Obama said. "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 in this new role."

The C.D.C. plays a significant role in providing public health information, and during the past year has provided critical updates to the food industry following outbreaks of Salmonella and H1N1 influenza.

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