U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that the United States Senate unanimously confirmed Dr. Howard Koh as the next Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS.
“Howard Koh is a world-renowned public health expert and physician who has devoted his career to promoting prevention and wellness policies and reducing health disparities,” said Secretary Sebelius. “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. Whether it’s advancing health reform or working to implement the critical prevention programs in the Recovery Act, I am confident that Dr. Koh will work tirelessly on behalf of the American people.”
A brief biography of Dr. Koh is below:Dr. Howard Koh was most recently the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice, and Director of the Division of Public Health Practice at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). At HSPH, he served as the Principal Investigator of multiple research grants related to community-based participatory research, cancer prevention, health disparities, tobacco control, and emergency preparedness. He also served as Director of the HSPH Center for Public Health Preparedness. Koh previously served as Commissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1997-2003) where he emphasized the power of prevention for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which included four public health hospitals and a staff of over 3000 professionals. Koh graduated from Yale College and Yale University School of Medicine, and completed his postgraduate training and chief residencies at Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. He has earned board certification in internal medicine, hematology, medical oncology, and dermatology, as well as a Master of Public Health degree. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and previously served as Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the CDC’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response.
Koh has published over 200 articles in the medical and public health literature. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Distinguished Service Award from the American Cancer Society. President Bill Clinton appointed Koh to the National Cancer Advisory Board (2000-2002). In recognition of his contributions to early detection and prevention of melanoma, the Boston Red Sox designated Koh as a “Medical All-Star” (2003), and invited him to throw the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park. He and his wife, Dr. Claudia Arrigg, are the proud parents of three children.