Koh confirmed as assistant secretary at HHS
By Jennifer Lubell
Posted: June 22, 2009 - 11:00 am EDT
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the Senate’s confirmation of Howard Koh, 57, as HHS’ assistant secretary for health.
The former Massachusetts public health commissioner “is a world-renowned public health expert and physician who has devoted his career to promoting prevention and wellness policies and reducing health disparities,” Sebelius said in a written statement. “He will be an outstanding assistant secretary for health, and we look forward to his expertise and advice when it comes to making America’s families healthier and our health system stronger.”
Koh, an associate dean for public health practice and director of the division of public health practice at the Harvard School of Public Health, will oversee major health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health. He will also serve as the leading health adviser to the HHS secretary.
Koh previously served as Massachusetts’ public health commissioner from 1997 to 2003. At the Harvard School of Public Health, Koh has served as a principal investigator of multiple research grants related to community-based participatory research, cancer prevention, health disparities, tobacco control and emergency preparedness.
The Yale School of Medicine alumnus completed his postgraduate training and chief residencies at Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and has earned board certification in internal medicine, hematology, medical oncology and dermatology, as well as a master’s degree in public health.