Late Breaking News
- Categorized in: June 2009 Issue
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ASSISTANT SECRETARY Tammy Duckworth returned last month to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a key site in her long recovery from wounds suffered in Iraq, to take the oath of ofﬁce as the chief spokesperson for VA. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki presided over the swearing in ceremony as Duckworth, a major in the Illinois National Guard, became VA’s assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs. As assistant secretary, Duckworth will direct VA’s public affairs programs and its intergovernmental efforts. She will also oversee programs for homeless Veterans and consumer affairs. Duckworth was an Army helicopter pilot who ﬂew combat missions in Iraq in 2004. She suffered grave injuries when her helicopter was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, and she lost both legs and partial use of one arm. She spent 13 months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
EIGHT YOUNG PERFORMERS living with mental health challenges from across the country joined Academy Award winner Goldie Hawn last month for a celebration of resilience. The event was part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s “HEAR ME NOW: A Celebration of Resiliency through the Performing Arts” commemoration of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, which took place at the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, DC. Hawn received the SAMHSA Special Recognition Award for her work to increase public understanding of the role mental health plays in the total well-being of children and youth through her non-proﬁt foundation, The Hawn Foundation. SAMHSA presented the award at the national Awareness Day event that was co-hosted by “Twilight’s” Solomon Trimble and Sabrina Bryan of Disney’s “The Cheetah Girls.” National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is SAMHSA’s annual demonstration of collaboration among numerous and diverse individuals, organizations, and agencies in the public and private sector working to provide greater access to community-based mental health services for children and youth with serious mental-health needs and their families.
HHS SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS last month welcomed Deputy Secretary Bill Corr and Indian Health Service Director Yvette Roubideaux, MD, to the Department of Health and Human Services. Corr and Roubideaux were conﬁrmed unanimously by the Senate on May
6. Bill Corr most recently served as executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Previously, Corr served for 12 years as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Health and the Environment. Additionally, Corr served as Chief of Staff for the Department of Health and Human Services. Corr is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Vanderbilt University School of Law. Dr. Yvette Roubideaux served most recently as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She has conducted extensive research on American Indian health issues, with a focus on diabetes in American Indians/Alaska Natives and Indian health policy. Roubideaux previously worked in the Indian Health Service as a medical ofﬁcer and clinical director on the San Carlos Indian Reservation and in the Gila River Indian Community.
THE LONGEST U.S. STUDY OF PEOPLE WITH HIV/AIDS was honored at a 25th anniversary commemoration on May 12 at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC. The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) has signiﬁcantly contributed to the scientiﬁ c understanding of HIV, AIDS, and the effects of antiretroviral therapy through more than 1,000 publications, many of which have guided public health policy and the clinical care of people with HIV. MACS investigators prospectively study the natural and treated history of HIV infection in thousands of homosexual and bisexual men at sites in Baltimore, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles. A key characteristic of the MACS is its 25 years of behavioral and biological data and specimens from men who have sex with men, before and after they became infected with HIV, before and after they were diagnosed with AIDS, and before and after they began highly active antiretroviral therapy—along with data from a control group of same-aged, HIV-free men who have sex with men. Comparing these before-and-after specimens and data from HIV-infected and uninfected individuals has yielded numerous seminal discoveries.
THE NIH ADVISORY COMMITTEE on Research on Women’s Health of the Ofﬁce of Research on Women’s Health announced the appointment of ﬁve new members last month: Margery L.S. Gass, MD, Paula Adina Johnson, MD, Jeanne Craig Sinkford, DDS, Farida Sohrabji, PhD, and Gary E. Striker, MD. The committee advises the ORWH on appropriate research activities to be undertaken by the national research institutes with respect to research on women’s health, research on sex/gender differences in clinical trials, and research on women’s health conditions that requires an interdisciplinary approach. The committee members are actively involved in reviewing NIH women’s health research priorities, the women’s health research portfolio for NIH, career development, and the inclusion of women and minorities in clinical research. The committee is composed of up to 18 members who are appointed by the NIH director.