Openly gay CDC director leaving after 7 years at helm of HIV/AIDS division

His full letter, dated Nov. 16:

Dear Colleagues,

After seven years as Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I have accepted a new post in the United Kingdom and will be leaving the Agency at the end of the year. While I am looking forward to returning to England and reuniting with my family, this time is bittersweet for me, as I will be saying goodbye to amazing colleagues and a passionate community that actively partners with CDC to ensure better health for people from all walks of life.

In recent years, we have seen a number of exciting developments that bring new hope for ending the epidemics we are dedicated to combatting: the development of a National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the National Hepatitis Action Plan, biomedical advancements in fighting HIV and hepatitis, demonstration of the efficacy of a new regimen for treatment of persons with latent TB, and updates to treatment guidelines for STDs. There have been challenges as well: the continued scourge of drug-resistant gonorrhea, unacceptable health inequities in disease burden, and challenges to securing needed resources in tough economic times.

During my tenure as director of NCHHSTP, it has been my honor and privilege to take part in the process through which voices of the community and the country’s top professionals at all levels inform CDC’s programmatic decisions. With your expertise and partnership, we have enhanced integrated prevention approaches and better aligned resources to match the epidemics and increase our impact across the country. We have worked together on disease-specific initiatives while moving forward more holistic and integrated approaches to address the overlapping epidemics of HIV, STD, hepatitis, and TB.

We have advanced the promotion of health equity, program collaboration and service integration, sexual health, and prevention through health care. We have worked together to ensure success for our social marketing campaigns and community mobilization efforts. These are your successes too, and we are deeply grateful for your dedication and contributions.

As for my future plans, I have been appointed as the Director for Health Improvement and Population Health for Public Health England (PHE), a new national agency that will be stood up in April 2013. This is an exciting opportunity for me to shape Public Health England’s foundational strategies for improving health and well-being services and tackling inequalities. My work with CDC and with you, our partners, has well-equipped me for this new role.

In closing, I want to say again that it has been my honor and privilege to be a part of public service in the United States and to work with you to achieve our critical mission.