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

Five new members and a new chair have been named to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The appointments were announced recently by Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The Task Force, 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.

Bruce Nedrow (Ned) Calonge, M.D., M.P.H., a member of the Task Force for 2 years, has taken over leadership of the Task Force. The five new members are Leon Gordis, M.D., M.P.H., Dr. P.H.; Kimberly Gregory, M.D., M.P.H.; Judith Ockene, Ph.D. M.Ed.; Diana Petitti, M.D., M.P.H.; and Barbara Yawn, M.D., M.Sc.

Dr. Calonge is chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the State epidemiologist. He is an associate professor of family medicine and of preventive medicine and biometrics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.

Alfred O. Berg, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, is stepping down as chair of the Task Force he has led since 1996. Dr. Berg will continue as a member of the group for an additional year.

Dr. Gordis is board certified in pediatrics and is a professor in the departments of Epidemiology and Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is co-director of the Center for Epidemiology and Policy in the Department of Epidemiology of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Gregory is director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and director of Women's Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She is an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and at the UCLA School of Public Health's Department of Community Health Sciences.

Dr. Ockene is professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she is also the Barbara Helen Smith Chair and founder and chief of the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine. She is a clinical psychologist and a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology, and the Society of Behavioral Medicine, where she is also president-elect.

Dr. Petitti is director of research and evaluation at Kaiser Permanente of Southern California in Pasadena. She is a member of the American Public Health Association, the Society for Epidemiologic Research, and the American Epidemiologic Society and is a Fellow of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology.

Dr. Yawn is director of research at Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester, MN, and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota.

The Task Force has made recommendations on a range of preventive services, including screening for obesity, prostate cancer, and cervical cancer, as well as the use of aspirin to prevent heart disease, vitamins to prevent cancer and heart disease, and hormone therapy. Task Force recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services. Upcoming recommendations are expected on screening for dental caries and coronary heart disease, among others.

Select for more information about the Task Force.

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