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New members of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are announced

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently announced new members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Allen Dietrich, M.D., of Hanover, New Hampshire, and Rosanne Leipzig, M.D., Ph.D., of New York City, join the Task Force this month. George Isham, M.D., of Minneapolis, joined the Task Force in 2006.

Dr. Dietrich, a board-certified family physician, is a professor of community and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He also is associate director for population sciences at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and serves as chair of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Initiative on Depression and Primary Care.

Dr. Leipzig, a board-certified internist and geriatrician, is a professor in the departments of Geriatrics and Adult Development, Medicine, and Health Policy at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. She also serves as vice chair of Education in the Departments of Education and Geriatrics and Adult Development at Mount Sinai. She has been a recipient of the American College of Physicians' Richard and Hinda Rosenthal award, given for the notable contribution her work in evidence-based medicine has made to improve clinical care in internal medicine.

Dr. Isham is medical director and chief health officer for HealthPartners, a large health care plan in Minnesota that provides care for nearly 800,000 members. Dr. Isham is responsible for quality, utilization management, health promotion and disease management, research, and health professionals' education. He is also active in strategic planning and policy issues. He is an experienced primary care clinician and was chair of the Institute of Medicine committee that produced the report Priority Areas for National Action: Transforming Health Care Quality.

AHRQ supports the Task Force, which is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care. The Task Force conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services.

The Task Force has made recommendations on a range of preventive services, including screening for obesity, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, and abdominal aortic aneurysm, as well as the use of aspirin to prevent heart disease, vitamins to prevent cancer and heart disease, and hormone therapy. More information about the Task Force can be found on the AHRQ Preventive Services Web site at http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/prevenix.htm.

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