Magazine article National Defense

Chief Medical Officer's Role Pondered

Magazine article National Defense

Chief Medical Officer's Role Pondered

Article excerpt

Dr. Jeffrey Runge is the Department of Homeland Security's first chief medical officer, but questions remain on what roles the leader of the newly created office will undertake if the nation should come under a biological attack.

"You have a great title, but chief of what?" asked Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security's management, integration and oversight subcommittee at a recent hearing.

DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff created the chief medical office last July to coordinate medical preparedness activities inside the agency and between other departments such as Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Center for Disease Control. It is part of the DHS' new preparedness directorate. Prior to creating the position, DHS had no centralized medical structure.

Runge, a physician before entering public service, became the department's first chief medical officer after leading the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for four years.

Runge told congressional leaders that he will provide "direct and unfiltered medical advice" to the secretary and develop a strategic plan for filling gaps in the department's medical readiness plan. During his first month on the job, he sat in on several interagency meetings preparing for a potential flu pandemic. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.