New Leadership Named for NTD Programs and Health Systems Strengthening Sector

The Task Force has named three leading global health experts to head programs in river blindness elimination, intestinal worm control, and health systems strengthening.

Patrick O’Carroll, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACMI, has been selected as head of The Task Force’s health systems strengthening sector; Rubina Imtiaz, MBBS, will assume the role of program director to The Task Force’s Children Without Worms (CWW) program; and Yao Sodahlon, MD, MSc, will become the next director of the Mectizan Donation Program (MDP).

Dr. O’Carroll is considered one of the pioneers of the field of public health informatics. He will provide overall strategic and operational direction to The Task Force’s Public Health Informatics Institute, TEPHINET, and the African Health Workforce Project. He currently serves as the Regional Health Administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Region X (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington), and as senior advisor to the acting assistant secretary for health, HHS.

Dr. Imtiaz has 32 years of experience building and managing complex public health programs involving partners in the public and private sectors. An internist by training, Dr. Imtiaz joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1984 as the first Pakistani to be inducted into the Epidemic Intelligence Service. Most recently, Dr. Imtiaz was associate director for CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS & TB. In her new role at The Task Force, Dr. Imtiaz will provide leadership, technical expertise, and oversight for CWW’s work with partners to control soil-transmitted helminthiasis (intestinal worms) in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Dr. Imtiaz will replace David Addiss, MD, MPH, who is pursuing academic opportunities, but will continue to support CWW half-time as senior science and strategy advisor.

Dr. Sodahlon has 20 years of experience in global health and neglected tropical diseases. From 1996 to 2006 he worked in the Ministry of Health of Togo, leading a range of public health and disease-control programs. Since 2006, he has been the Senior Associate Director of MPD, working on onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis control and elimination efforts. Yao will replace Adrian Hopkins, MD, who will be retiring after nearly nine years serving as director of the MDP. Dr. Hopkins will remain with MDP in an advisory capacity.

Photo caption: New Task Force leadership includes (from left to right) Patrick O’Carroll, MD, MPH, head of the health systems strengthening sector; Rubina Imtiaz, MBBS, director of the Children Without Worms Program; and Yao Sodahlon, MD, MSc, director of the Mectizan Donation Program.

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