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


Contact: Becky Wexler

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

Washington, DC (July 15, 2011)

WHAT: Join local health officials and invited guests at the 2011 National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Annual Conference as they gather in Hartford, CT, to discuss the latest public health developments. This year, the theme of the annual meeting is "Moving Public Health Forward in Challenging Times", which acknowledges that local health departments across the country have continued to face budgetary, program, and staffing cutbacks all while 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 equity, health reform, and public health accreditation, conference attendees will hear keynote addresses from federal, state, and local public health officials and other experts from the field.

WHEN: July 20-22, 2011 (see below for specific speaker times)  

WHERE: Connecticut Conference Center, 100 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06103

WHO: Judy Monroe, MD, FAAFP, is the deputy director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Director of the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support. In this role, she provides critical leadership improving and supporting the public health system. Most recently, Dr. Monroe served as the Indiana State Health Commissioner. She has held several national public health leadership positions, is a past president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and served as vice chair on the Board of Directors for the Public Health Accreditation Board. Dr. Monroe was also a member of the Indiana Health Information Exchange Board of Directors.

Jewel Mullen, MD, MPH, MPA, is commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health. As Commissioner, Dr. Mullen oversees the state's leading public health agency whose mission is to protect and improve the health and safety of Connecticut residents. Prior to joining the department, Dr. Mullen was director of the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She also is the former medical director of Baystate Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. Dr. Mullen began her clinical career as a member of the National Health Service Corps at Bellevue Hospital in New York, after which she joined the medical faculty of the University of Virginia. A Connecticut resident since 1992, she has been a member of the medical staff at the Hospital of St. Raphael, the Yale University Health Services and Yale New Haven Hospital.

Todd Park has served as chief technology officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services since August 2009. In this role, his mission is to be a change agent and "entrepreneur-in-residence," helping HHS harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health of the nation. Prior to joining HHS, Mr. Park cofounded Athenahealth and co-led its development into one of the most innovative health IT companies in the industry. He also cofounded Castlight, a web-based health care shopping service for consumers. Mr. Park has also served in a volunteer capacity as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he focused on health IT and health reform policy, and as senior health care advisor to Ashoka, a leading global incubator of social entrepreneurs, where he helped start Healthpoint Services, a venture to bring affordable telehealth, drugs, diagnostics, and clean water to rural India.

Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, serves as vice president and chief medical officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. Prior to this, he was the director of the Institute for Health Policy at The University of Texas School of Public Health. Dr. Sanchez served as commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services from 2004-2006 and the Texas Department of Health from 2001-2004. Dr. Sanchez practiced family medicine in Austin, Texas, from 1992-2001 providing medical care to the uninsured and underinsured. Dr. Sanchez was the city/county health officer and chief medical officer for the Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services Department from 1994-1998.

Dr. Monroe, Dr. Mullen, Mr. Park, and Dr. Sanchez will highlight how organizations they serve have moved public health forward by addressing challenges and achieving success in a rapidly changing environment on Thursday, July 21, from 8:00 AM-9:00 AM.

John M. Auerbach, MBA, was appointed Massachusetts' Commissioner of Public Health in April, 2007. Under his leadership, the Department has developed new and innovative programs to address racial and ethnic disparities, to promote wellness (including the Mass in Motion campaign), to combat chronic disease and to support the successful implementation of the state's health care reform initiative. Prior to his appointment as commissioner, Auerbach had been the executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission for nine years. He had previously worked at the State Health Department for a decade, first as the chief of staff and later as an assistant commissioner overseeing the HIV/AIDS Bureau.

Nicole Lurie, MD, MSPH, is the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at HHS. As such, she serves as the Secretary's principal advisor on matters related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. Her office is the lead agency for federal public health and medical preparedness and response, helping the nation prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

Mr. Auerbach and Dr. Lurie will lead the Closing General Session on Friday, July 22 11:45 AM-1:00 PM.

HOW: 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

In partnership with NACCHO, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will provide exclusive media and event coverage of NACCHO Annual at, the premier online destination for information and discussion about public health.

Media are also encouraged to follow sessions as they happen via Twitter @NACCHOalerts and #NA11.