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New Health Leader Wants To End Disparities

  COLORADO SPRINGS --  Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health John Auerbach was elected president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in a unanimous vote during the association's annual meeting in Colorado Springs, Colo. He takes office immediately.

       In his address upon taking office Mr. Auerbach spoke about his commitment to eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities, an issue he has focused on in Massachusetts that will also be a priority during his ASTHO presidency.

       Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Judy Ann Bigby appointed John Auerbach as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) in 2007. Mr. Auerbach is currently the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, the health department for the city of Boston, a post he has held for nine years. Mr. Auerbach is well known within public health circles in the Commonwealth, with more than two decades of work in both state and local government, as well as in health center and hospital settings. As Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, Mr. Auerbach was noted for groundbreaking work toward the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities, implementing of one of the nation's strongest tobacco control bans, and initiating city-wide asthma, cardiovascular, and cancer programs. He has significant experience in emergency preparedness, having overseen the Boston Emergency Medical Services, the local Centers for Disease Control Division, and the Boston Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program. Mr. Auerbach was the first Director of the HIV/AIDS Bureau at DPH where he oversaw the establishment of HIV services and programs that were praised at the time as among the most effective in the nation. Mr. Auerbach is the President of the Board of the Massachusetts Public Health Association and on the Board of Directors of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

       Mr. Auerbach serves on the ASTHO Finance, Health Reform, Education, and Government Relations committees.

       ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as the 120,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to assuring excellence in state-based public health practice.


STORY TAGS: BLACK , AFRICAN AMERICAN , MINORITY , CIVIL RIGHTS , DISCRIMINATION , RACISM , NAACP , URBAN LEAGUE , RACIAL EQUALITY , BIAS , EQUALITY



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