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Media Advisory: Top Federal Health Officials and Public Health Visionaries to Keynote NACCHO Annual Conference


Contact Becky Wexler
(301) 652-1558

Media Advisory: Top Federal Health Officials and Public Health Visionaries to Keynote NACCHO Annual Conference
Washington, DC (July 8, 2010)—

Join hundreds of local health officials and invited guests at the 2010 National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Annual Conference as they gather to discuss the latest public health developments in Memphis, TN. This year, local health departments across the country have continued to face budgetary, program, and staffing cutbacks all while responding to H1N1 influenza and continuing to provide vital preventive and primary care services for people in their communities. In addition to sessions on local health department-community partnerships, health disparities, health reform, and public health accreditation (due to roll out nationally next year), conference attendees will hear keynote addresses from three current federal health officials and three dynamic thought leaders who specialize in health topics.

July 14–16, 2010
(See below for specific speaker times.)

Carolyn M. Clancy
, MD, has directed of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, since 2003. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Clancy was Director of AHRQ’s Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. Dr. Clancy holds an academic appointment at George Washington University School of Medicine (clinical associate professor, Department of Medicine) and serves as senior associate editor of the journal Health Services Research. Her major research interests include improving healthcare quality and patient safety, and reducing disparities in care associated with patients’ race, ethnicity, gender, income, and education. As AHRQ Director, she launched the first annual report to Congress on healthcare disparities and healthcare quality.

Michael R. Taylor, JD, is Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Taylor provides leadership and direction to all food programs in the agency, including those managed by the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and the Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the foods-related programs of FDA’s inspection and compliance arm, the Office of Regulatory Affairs. Mr. Taylor is a nationally recognized food safety expert, having served in high-level positions at FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as a research professor in academia, and on several National Academy of Sciences expert committees.

Dr. Clancy and Mr. Taylor will discuss the priorities of their agencies and opportunities to partner with local health departments to create and build a forward-looking vision for the health and well-being of individuals and communities on Wednesday, July 14, from 3:00–4:30 PM.

Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, is Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry since June 8, 2009. Prior to his position at the CDC, Dr. Frieden served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since January 2002. During his tenure in New York City, the number of smokers declined by 350,000, teen smoking decreased by half, and New York City became the first place in the United States to eliminate trans-fats from restaurants, among other accomplishments.

Dr. Frieden will discuss the implications of health reform for local health departments during a town hall meeting on Wednesday from 4:30–6:00 PM.

Larry Cohen, MSW, is the founder and Executive Director of the Prevention Institute, a non-profit national center dedicated to improving community health and equity through effective primary prevention. With an emphasis on health equity, Mr. Cohen has led many successful public health efforts at the local, state, and federal levels including injury and violence prevention, mental health, traffic safety, and food and physical activity-related chronic disease prevention. Among other accomplishments, Mr. Cohen helped to define violence as a preventable public health concern, formed the first U.S. coalition to change tobacco policy, and created the nation’s first multi-city smoking ban.

Linda Rae Murray, MD, MPH, has spent her career serving the medically underserved. She has worked in a variety of roles, including a Workers Clinic in Canada, as Residency Director at Meharry Medical College, and as Bureau Chief for the Chicago Department of Health. More recently, Dr. Murray served as Medical Director of Winfield Moody, the federally-funded health center that serves Cabrini Green Public Housing Project in Chicago. Dr. Murray also served as Chief Medical Officer for the twenty-three primary care and community health centers comprising the Ambulatory and Community Health Network of the Cook County Bureau of Health Services, one of the largest public health systems in the nation.

Louis Rowitz, PhD, has built a unique career in public health academia via public health practice issues and initiatives. Dr. Rowitz has been the Deputy Director of the University of Illinois, Chicago, School of Public Health’s Center for Public Health Practice since its inception and is also director of the CDC-funded Mid-America Regional Public Health Leadership Institute. The Institute has graduated over 500 fellows since its inception. Dr. Rowitz gives presentations on leadership to national and local public health organizations and agencies throughout the United States.

Mr. Cohen, Dr. Murray, and Dr. Rowitz will discuss the three important public health tenets of prevention, equity, and leadership, respectively, and the role that these components play in creating and building a forward-looking vision of local public health on Thursday, July 15 from 8:00–9:45 AM.

Members of the media may receive complementary registration to attend the conference or select sessions. Click here for a full agenda. For more information, or to set up an on-site interview with any of the above speakers, please contact Becky Wexler, Burness Communications, at (301) 652-1558 or bwexler@burnesscommunications.com.

Media are also encouraged to follow sessions as they happen via Twitter @NACCHOmeets and search the hashtag #NA10.

About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities.