Marcus Plescia, MD, MPH
Marcus Plescia, MD, MPH is the Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is responsible for providing leadership and direction for all scientific, policy, and programmatic issues related to four national programs: the Colorectal Cancer Control Program, the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, and the National Program of Cancer Registries. He oversees a well-developed research agenda that includes the national Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network.
Before coming to CDC in 2009, Dr. Plescia served for six years as Chronic Disease Director at the North Carolina Division of Public Health. He directed the program policy, planning, and evaluation efforts for 12 public health programs and the State Center for Health Statistics. Under his leadership, the North Carolina cancer screening programs were expanded to reach more underserved adults. Public-health focused legislation on tobacco, cancer, and obesity was passed, including a state law banning smoking in all restaurants and bars.
Dr. Plescia's research interests have focused on community health and health disparities. His publications focus on the application or evaluation of public health programs with an emphasis on primary prevention and policy. During his nine-year tenure on the family medicine faculty at Carolinas Healthcare System, he received an eight-year, $7 million grant from CDC to implement a community-oriented primary care project that addressed racial and ethnic disparities.
Dr. Plescia received his medical degree, Master of Public Health, and Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). He trained in family medicine at the Montefiore Residency Program in Social Medicine in the Bronx, New York and started practice in a federally qualified health center there, where he also led a team providing care to the homeless. Dr. Plescia continues to practice family medicine through the Indian Health Service and holds an academic appointment as associate professor in the UNC Department of Family Medicine.
Some of the selected articles Dr. Plescia has authored include—
- 2012 New roles for public health in cancer screening.
- 2011 State-specific trends in lung cancer incidence and smoking—United States, 1999–2008.
- 2011 Vital Signs: Colorectal cancer screening, incidence, and mortality—United States, 2002–2010.
- 2011 Medical costs of secondhand smoke exposure in North Carolina.
- 2011 Racial disparities in blood pressure control and treatment differences in a Medicaid population, North Carolina, 2005–2006.
- 2010 Surveillance of screening-detected cancers (colon and rectum, breast, and cervix)—United States, 2004–2006.
- 2010 Clinical inquiry: Do standing orders improve outcomes for chronic disease control in ambulatory practice?
- 2008 A lay health advisor program to promote community capacity and change.
- 2008 Improving health behaviors in an African-American community: the Charlotte Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health project.
- 2008 Relationship between body mass index and medical care expenditures for North Carolina adolescents enrolled in Medicaid in 2004.
- 2004 A community-oriented primary care demonstration project: refining interventions for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- 2001 Community assessment in a vertically-integrated health care system.
Dr. Plescia is featured in the following podcast—
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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