Q and A: Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC

NCSL Legislative Summit: Aug. 13, 2013


Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Dr. Tom Frieden has made it his life’s work to control infectious and chronic diseases in the United States and globally. As director of the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since June 2009, Dr. Frieden has intensified the CDC’s 24-7 work to respond effectively to outbreaks and other health threats, prevent infections from food and health care, help Americans quit smoking and reduce childhood obesity. Prior to joining the CDC, Dr. Frieden served as commissioner of the New York City Health Department, where he led programs that increased life expectancy substantially, eliminated racial and ethnic disparities in colon cancer screening and began the country’s largest community-based electronic health records project. He also worked in India for five years helping build a tuberculosis control program that has saved nearly 3 million lives. A graduate of the Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and School of Public Health, Frieden completed infectious diseases training at Yale University and CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. After speaking at the 2013 NCSL Legislative Summit in Atlanta, Dr. Frieden shared his views about the biggest health concerns facing America today, and how state legislators can help.

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