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AHRQ announces new vice-chair and members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, has announced the appointment of five new members and a new vice-chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The Task Force, which is sponsored by AHRQ, is the leading independent panel of private-sector experts in prevention and primary care. The Task Force conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for a broad range of preventive services.

Diana Petitti, M.D., M.P.H., a member of the Task Force for the past year, became vice-chair in January, replacing former vice-chair Janet Allan, Ph.D., R.N. Bruce Nedrow (Ned) Calonge, M.D., M.P.H., is the current Task Force chair. The five new members are Thomas DeWitt, M.D., Kenneth Kizer, M.D., M.P.H., Michael LeFevre, M.D., M.S.P.H., Lucy Marion, Ph.D., R.N., and George Sawaya, M.D.

Dr. Petitti, an expert in preventive medicine, is senior scientific advisor for health policy and medicine for Kaiser Permanente of Southern California in Pasadena.

Dr. DeWitt is the Carl Weihl professor of pediatrics and director of the Division of General and Community Pediatrics, and associate chair for primary care in the Department of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati.

Dr. Kizer is president and CEO of the National Quality Forum in Washington, DC. He currently is chairman of the Board of Directors of Medsphere Systems Corporation in Aliso Viejo, CA, and he is the director of Trinity Health of Novi, MI.

Dr. LeFevre is a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and is the medical director of family medicine for Missouri University Health Care.

Dr. Marion is a professor and the dean of the Medical College of Georgia School of Nursing.

Dr. Sawaya is an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

The Task Force has made recommendations on a wide range of preventive services, including screening for prostate cancer, obesity, cervical cancer, and most recently, abdominal aortic aneurysms. Other Task Force recommendations include counseling for a healthy diet, the use of aspirin to prevent heart disease, and vitamins to prevent cancer and heart disease. Task Force recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services. Upcoming recommendations are expected on hormone therapy for the prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal women and screening for HIV, among other topics.

More information about the Task Force can be found on the AHRQ Web site at

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