Press Release

For Immediate Release: May 15, 2009

Trust for America's Health Supports Appointment of Thomas Frieden to Lead CDC

WASHINGTON, DC - The following is a statement by Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of Trust for America's Health (TFAH) on the appointment of Thomas R. Frieden to serve as Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

"Dr. Frieden is a bold leader who has the courage to shake up the status quo if science and evidence show that change needs to happen.  He doesn't shy away from the tough problems.  His innovative strategies have led to real reductions in smoking rates, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and food-borne illness in New York City. 

During the campaign, President Obama made a commitment to make policy decisions based on the integrity of science.  With this appointment, the President has taken an important step to fulfill this promise.

Dr. Frieden will have the serious challenge of reinvigorating the CDC to help turn around our nation's health.  The agency must be modernized to face today's health threats.  The CDC should be commended for its rapid, coordinated response to the recent H1N1 outbreak, but it also highlighted the gaps in our public health system where more investment is desperately needed.

As the country considers ways to reform the health system, Dr. Frieden's leadership will be critical to ensure that public health is front and center -- so that we transform our sick care system to a health care system that focuses on preventing disease and keeping Americans healthier in the first place.  

Dr. Frieden brings the expertise and experience needed to confront the wide range of serious public health challenges we face.  He brings the perspective and energy needed to galvanize the federal, state, and local agencies and lead America's public health system into the 21st century."


Elle Hogan
202-223-9870 x21