|President Barack Obama|
Name Tom Frieden
Political party Democratic
|Mayor Michael Bloomberg|
Preceded by Julie Gerberding
Party Democratic Party
|Education Oberlin College, Columbia University|
Public Health Grand Rounds with Tom Frieden, MD, MPH
Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H is an American infectious disease expert and the former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and acting administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from 2009 to 2017. He was appointed by President Barack Obama. He previously served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) from 2002 to 2009.
- Public Health Grand Rounds with Tom Frieden, MD, MPH
- Cdc s tom frieden on ebola we will stop it in its tracks
- Early career
- New York City Health Commissioner
- Director of CDC and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
- Ebola epidemic
Cdc s tom frieden on ebola we will stop it in its tracks
Frieden graduated from Oberlin College (B.A., 1982), Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (M.D., 1986), and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (M.P.H., 1985). He completed a residency in internal medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and a sub-specialty fellowship in infectious diseases at Yale School of Medicine and Yale–New Haven Hospital.
Frieden's work on tuberculosis in New York City, initially as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer assigned by CDC and later as assistant commissioner of health and director of the DOHMH Bureau of Tuberculosis Control, fostered public awareness and helped improve city, state and federal public funding for TB control. The epidemic was controlled rapidly, reducing overall incidence by nearly half and cutting multidrug-resistant tuberculosis by 80%. The city's program became a model for tuberculosis control nationally and globally.
From 1996 to 2002, Frieden was based in India, assisting with national tuberculosis control efforts. As a medical officer for the World Health Organization on loan from the CDC, he helped the government of India implement the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program. The program's 2008 status report estimated that the nationwide program resulted in 8 million treatments and 1.4 million lives saved. While in India, Frieden worked to establish a network of Indian physicians to help India's state and local governments implement the program and helped the Tuberculosis Research Center in Chennai, India, establish a program to monitor the impact of tuberculosis control services.
New York City Health Commissioner
Frieden served as Commissioner of Health of the City of New York from 2002 to 2009. At the time of his appointment, the agency employed 6,000 staff and had an annual budget of $1.6 billion.
Upon his appointment as Commissioner of Health, Frieden made tobacco control a priority, resulting in a rapid decline after a decade of no change in smoking rates. Frieden established a system to monitor the city's smoking rates, and worked with New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to increase tobacco taxes, ban smoking in workplaces including restaurants and bars, and run aggressive anti-tobacco ads and help smokers quit. The program reduced smoking prevalence among New York City adults from 21.6% in 2002 to 16.9% in 2007 – a change that represented 300,000 fewer smokers and could prevent 100,000 premature deaths in future years. Smoking prevalence among New York City teens declined even more sharply, from 17.6% in 2001 to 8.5% in 2007, which was less than half the national rate. The workplace smoking ban prompted spirited debate before it was passed by the New York City Council and signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg. Over time, the measure gained broad acceptance by the public and business community in New York City. New York City's 2003 workplace smoking ban followed that of California in 1994. Frieden supported increased cigarette taxes as a means of forcing smokers to quit, saying "tobacco taxes are the most effective way to reduce tobacco use." He supported the 62-cent federal tax on each cigarette pack sold in the United States, introduced in April 2009. One side effect of the increased taxes on tobacco in New York was a large increase in cigarette smuggling into the state from other states with much lower taxes, such as Virginia. The Tax Foundation estimated that "60.9% of cigarettes sold in New York State are smuggled in from other states". In addition, some New Yorkers began to make their own cigarettes, and tobacco trucks were even hijacked. A 2009 Justice Department study found that "The incentive to profit by evading payment of taxes rises with each tax rate hike imposed by federal, state, and local governments".
Frieden also introduced Take Care New York, the city's first comprehensive health policy. This program targeted ten leading causes of preventable illness and death for concerted public and personal action. By 2007, New York City had made measurable progress in eight of the ten priority areas.
As Health Commissioner, Frieden sought to fight HIV and AIDS with public health principles used successfully to control other communicable diseases. The most controversial aspect of this strategy was a proposal to eliminate separate written consent for HIV testing. He believed the measure would encourage physicians to offer HIV tests during routine medical care, as the CDC recommended. Some community and civil liberties advocates fought this legislation, arguing it would undermine patients' rights and lead eventually to forced HIV testing. In 2010, New York State passed a new law that eased the requirement for separate written consent in some circumstances. On February 14, 2007, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene introduced the NYC Condom, prompting Catholic League president Bill Donohue to respond, "What's next? The city's own brand of clean syringes?" More than 36 million condoms were given away by the program in 2007.
Frieden worked to raise awareness about diabetes in New York City, particularly among pregnant women, and established an involuntary, non-disclosed hemoglobin A1C diabetes registry that tracks patients' blood sugar control over several months and report that information to treating physicians in an effort to help them provide better care.
The New York City Board of Health's decision to require laboratories to report A1C test results generated a heated debate among civil libertarians, who view it as a violation of medical privacy and an intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship. Although patients may elect not to receive information from the program, there is no provision enabling patients to opt out of having their glycemic control data entered in the database.
During Frieden's tenure as Commissioner, the Health Department expanded the collection and use of epidemiological data, launching an annual Community Health Survey and the nation's first community-based Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Director of CDC and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
On May 15, 2009, the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services named Dr. Frieden the 16th director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; he assumed his position on June 8, 2009, from the acting head, Dr. Richard E. Besser. Frieden resigned effective January 20, 2017.
"On announcing Frieden’s appointment, President Obama called him "an expert in preparedness and response to health emergencies" who in seven years as New York City's health commissioner was "at the forefront of the fight against heart disease, cancer and obesity, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS, and in the establishment of electronic health records." Frieden had previously worked for the CDC from 1990 to 2002 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in New York City and then assigned to India as a Medical Officer as part of CDC's tuberculosis control program.
Frieden was a prominent figure in the US and global response to the West African outbreak of Ebola. His visits to West Africa beginning in August 2014 and a September 2014 CDC analysis projecting that the Ebola epidemic would increase exponentially to infect more than 1 million people within four months prompted him to press for an international surge response. At the peak of the response, CDC maintained approximately 200 staff per day in West Africa and approximately 400 staff per day at its Atlanta headquarters dedicated to the response; overall, approximately 1,900 CDC staff deployed to international and U.S. locations for approximately 110,000 total work days, and more than 4,000 CDC staff worked as part of the response. In a Congressional hearing on October 16, 2014, Frieden was questioned for his handling of the Ebola crisis following the spread of the disease to two nurses from the original patient in the US. The previous day, the response of the CDC to the crisis led Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) to call for Frieden's resignation, although others rallied to his defense.