FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2009
STATEMENTS OF MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND HEALTH COMMISSIONER THOMAS FRIEDEN ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S DECISION TO APPOINT DR. FRIEDEN DIRECTOR FOR THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Statement of Mayor Bloomberg:
"People use the phrase second-to-none a lot these days, but when it comes to aggressive, innovative and effective approaches to help people live better, longer lives, our Health Commissioner Tom Frieden really stands in a class by himself. That's why it's no surprise that President Obama has decided to appoint Dr. Frieden to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a decision which, to use another familiar phrase, is New York City's loss but the nation's - and the world's - gain.
"New York City has been a pacesetter in public health policy for generations, and long before I entered public life, I supported innovative public health policies at my alma mater and other non-for-profits. Public health is a passion of mine, and because of Tom's leadership and the hard work of the men and women at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New Yorkers are living longer. We have 350,000 fewer smokers among our friends, neighbors and loved ones. We now boast the nation's most extensive community-based electronic health record system. We've taken steps against trans-fats and have more information about the calorie content in our foods. New Yorkers get far more cancer screenings. At least as importantly, we also have a data system that will hold us all accountable for continued progress.
"I want to thank Tom for his outstanding service to New York City. His seven years here are the longest tenure of any Health Commissioner in 50 years. I also want to thank him for working with his successor - New York City's next Health Commissioner, who I will announce next week - to ensure that there will be a smooth transition of leadership next month at the Health Department.
"Dr. Frieden has demonstrated his talent and leadership over the past seven years and we look forward to working with him in his new role in Atlanta. President Obama could not have selected a better person to lead the Centers for Disease Control to meet the challenges ahead and make the nation a healthier place."
Statement of Dr. Frieden:
"It has been a unique honor and privilege to be Mayor Bloomberg's Health Commissioner and none of our health progress would have been possible without the Mayor's leadership. I have loved serving New Yorkers as Health Commissioner and am sorry to be leaving one of the greatest jobs in the world. I thank my wonderful colleagues at the Health Department for their creativity, dedication, and hard work, and I look forward to continuing to learn from them as they, my successor, and Mayor Bloomberg continue set the model and pace for public health progress. I am deeply honored and privileged to be selected for this position, and I look forward to learning from and working with the wonderful staff of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
Stu Loeser (Mayor's Office) (212) 788-2958
Jessica Scaperotti (Department of Health and Mental Hygiene)