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Betsy L. Thompson, MD, MSPH, DrPH


Captain, U.S. Public Health Service Director, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Dr. Thompson is currently the Director of the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service. In that role, she provides public health leadership to improve cardiovascular health for all, and reduce the burden and eliminate disparities associated with heart disease and stroke. During 17 years of federal service, she has served in a number of capacities. Before returning to CDC in 2018, she served as Deputy and Acting Regional Health Administrator (RHA) for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health in Region IX from 2014-2018. The RHA is considered the department’s senior federal public health official and scientist in the region. From 2009-2014, Dr. Thompson was the Region IX Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the principal liaison to professional organizations
with respect to quality improvement and health reform. From 1991-2000, Dr. Thompson held several positions at CDC, beginning as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer and Preventive Medicine Resident and ending as a branch chief. She has experience in other facets of preventive medicine including as a clinician in underserved areas, Chief Medical Director for a non-profit health plan, and author of Colorado legislation providing first-dollar coverage for preventive services. Dr. Thompson is board certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine, and holds a master’s and a doctorate in Public Health. Throughout her career, Dr. Thompson has focused on the intersection of prevention policy and science whether at the individual, community, state or national level.