New CDC Director can be Strong Leader for Public Health

National Forum

July 7, 2017

HHS Secretary Tom Price today appointed Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Fitzgerald has served as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health since 2011. The appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

Following are comments by National Forum Executive Director John Clymer about Dr. Fitzgerald’s appointment.

I believe Brenda Fitzgerald can be a strong leader for CDC and a strong advocate for public health. She has the skills to help the public and policymakers understand the value and importance of public health. In today’s environment of fiscal constraints, infectious diseases that spread across continents and jump borders, and home-grown public health crises, CDC and the nation need such a leader.

Dr. Fitzgerald understands that we need to go to the root causes of poor health if we are to improve the health of communities and our nation. This is vitally important as we debate how to contain health care costs and get better value from the most expensive health care system in the world.

As CDC Director, Dr. Fitzgerald will draw upon her experience as a practicing physician, Air Force flight surgeon, and head of Georgia’s Department of Public Health. Her public health expertise and leadership have been recognized by her peers who elected her to become president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.