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Press Releases-9/10/08

Contact Becky Wexler
(301) 652-1558
Pestronk Named NACCHO Executive Director

Washington, D.C. (September 9, 2008)—
Gary Cox, JD, President of the National Association of County and City Officials (NACCHO) announced today that Robert M. (Bobby) Pestronk, MPH, has accepted the position of NACCHO Executive Director, succeeding Patrick Libbey. Pestronk, who is NACCHO's immediate past president, is currently Health Officer for Genesee County, MI, where he protects and promotes the health of the County's 430,000 citizens in partnership with community resources. As the director of the Genesee County Health Department, a position he has held since 1986, Pestronk administers clinical, regulatory, and other human service programs in the areas of personal, community, behavioral, and environmental health.

"NACCHO's Board of Directors is delighted that Bobby Pestronk will continue his stellar leadership in public health at the helm of NACCHO," said Cox. "We are a strong, successful national organization, and we look forward to working with Bobby to address existing and emerging public health challenges in the years to come." 

Pestronk contributed to many innovative national public health endeavors during his years of volunteer service to NACCHO. As NACCHO President, he led the development of the Healthiest Nation Alliance in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO).  The Alliance is a national public-private partnership aimed at establishing a 21st century health system that emphasizes wellness and prevention.  Pestronk also chaired NACCHO's Workforce Development Committee, which seeks solutions to the growing national shortages of public health professionals, oversaw NACCHO finances as Chair of the Finance Committee, and led a restructuring of NACCHO's internal committee system. 

"I look forward to protecting health, preventing disease, and promoting a high quality of life for people nationwide through my work at NACCHO and through the important work of local health departments across the United States," said Pestronk, who will be moving to the Washington, D.C. area to begin his service in November. His last day in Genesee County will be October 15.

Pestronk has long been a leader in public health organizations and associations. He is a past board member of the Michigan Health Officers Association and has served on the Board of the Michigan Association for Local Public Health and is past president of both the Primary Care Fellowship Society and the Public Health Leadership Society Council. His accomplishments in Genesee County earned him a spot on the National Advisory Committee for Turning Point: Collaborating for a New Century of Public Health, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative that transformed and strengthened the U.S. public health system, as well as membership on the Institute of Medicine Public Health Roundtable. Pestronk also served as the first president of the Public Health Law Association.

A Primary Care Policy Fellow through the United States Department of Health and Human Services and a Public Health Leadership Institute Scholar, Pestronk has written extensively on reducing infant mortality, emergency preparedness, public health law, food safety, and other topics. His published work includes articles in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, the Journal of the American Public Health Association, Health Education and Behavior, Public Health Reports, and the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Chapters in books include those published by the American Public Health Association and Oxford University Press.

Pestronk received the John H. Romani Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Michigan School of Public Health Department of Public Health Policy and Administration and was presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

NACCHO is the national organization representing the nation's nearly 3,000 local health departments. These agencies work every day on the front lines to protect and promote the health of their communities. NACCHO develops resources and programs and promotes national policies that support effective local public health practice.



Becky Wexler

(301) 652-1558