Mass General Brigham congratulates the two leading clinicians with deep roots at Mass General Brigham who have been named to President-elect Joe Biden’s health care leadership team. Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, Chief of the Infectious Disease Division at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has been named Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Rochelle is revered by her colleagues and peers and has built a reputation for not only being a world-renowned infectious disease expert, but also for being a deliberate, thoughtful and compassionate leader,” said Anne Klibanski, MD, Mass General Brigham President and Chief Executive Officer. “This is an incredibly proud moment for our system, and I am confident that all of us – as citizens, patients and health care workers alike – will benefit from her leadership at the helm of the CDC.”
In addition to her role as Chief of Infectious Diseases at MGH, Dr. Walensky is a practicing infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital and is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Walensky is a leading expert on HIV testing, care, and prevention strategies, and her research has informed HIV/AIDS policy domestically and internationally. She is also a member of the Mass General Brigham Board and is a past Chair of the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council and member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents.
“We have been so fortunate at Mass General Brigham to have an infectious disease expert like Rochelle Walensky helping to lead our response during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Scott Sperling, Chair of the Mass General Brigham Board. “I have had the pleasure of serving with her on the Mass General Brigham Board, and I know that in her new role she will bring an unwavering commitment to protecting public health and to helping to contain this virus.”
For the past 10 months, Dr. Walensky has been leading and supporting infectious disease staff across the Mass General Brigham system as they have battled against COVID-19. She has played a critical role advising the system in all aspects of understanding, controlling, treating and preventing the virus. Dr. Walensky has also served on Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s COVID-19 Advisory Board, shaping key decisions and actions at the state level.
“Rochelle is fiercely committed to equity and fairness and has been a relentless advocate for ensuring that the highest quality health care is accessible and available to underserved communities, a priority that has defined her leadership in the MGH Division of Infectious Diseases,” said Peter Slavin, MD, President of Massachusetts General Hospital. “In Rochelle, the new administration has chosen a fearless, brilliant and compassionate ally who will give her all to protect and advance the health of our nation – just as she has done for patients, colleagues and the community at the MGH.”
In addition to Dr. Walensky’s appointment, Vivek Murthy, MD, who was a hospitalist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital until 2014, has been nominated to serve as Surgeon General, a position he also held in the Obama Administration.
Mass General Brigham:
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Mass General Brigham is an integrated academic healthcare system, uniting great minds in medicine to make life-changing impact for patients in our communities and people around the world. Mass General Brigham connects a full continuum of care across a system of academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, physician networks, community health centers, home care, and long-term care services. Mass General Brigham is a non-profit organization that is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Mass General Brigham is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information, please visit massgeneralbrigham.org.