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Press Release

For Immediate Release: July 10, 1998
Contact: CDC Media Relations (404) 639-3286


HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala today announced the appointment of Jeffrey P. Koplan, MD, MPH, to be director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation's disease prevention agency, and the Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

"Jeffrey Koplan is a dedicated public health professional who will bring extensive experience in researching, preventing and controlling disease both in the United States and around the world," said Shalala. "He is a leader of great integrity. As a former assistant Surgeon General and senior CDC manager, he has the leadership ability to help guide the agency into the next millenium."

Koplan is currently President of the Prudential Center for Health Care Research, which conducts health services and outcomes research. As the CDC director, he will oversee the nation's disease prevention organization, which includes 11 institutes, centers and offices, with nearly 7,000 employees. Koplan will assume the post October 5.

Koplan started his 22-year Public Health Service (PHS) and CDC career in the lab and the field as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer, one of CDC's celebrated "disease detectives." During his long and distinguished career, he has made contributions in the battle against the major burdens of infectious diseases, environmental hazards, chronic diseases, and unintentional injuries.

He retired from the PHS after serving as Assistant Surgeon General and as the first director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. During his six-year tenure at the Center, he led the effort to make chronic disease prevention and control a national public health priority. Under his leadership, the Center's staff grew from 200 to more than 700 and its budget increased from $60 million to $300 million. He established a national women's breast and cervical cancer early detection program that now reaches every state, and was instrumental in focusing attention on the global impact of the health hazards of tobacco.

Dr. Koplan regularly serves as a consultant to the World Bank and the World Health Organization on public health programs in China, Finland, Hungary, the Caribbean, and other nations. He is currently Visiting Professor of Community Health at Emory University School of Medicine and Clinical Professor of Community Medicine at Morehouse Medical School.

Koplan replaces Dr. David Satcher, who was confirmed as U.S. Surgeon General on February 13, 1998. Dr. Claire Broome, CDC deputy director, will continue as acting director until Koplan takes office.

"Dr. Koplan is eminently qualified to lead CDC with his wealth of experience in public health. I would also like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Dr. Claire Broome for her superb leadership as acting director at CDC," said Dr. Satcher. "Dr. Koplan will bring his creativity and commitment to scientific excellence to find solutions to public health problems."


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