Paul Roth, M.D., Dean of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and Associate Vice President for Clinical Affairs for the UNM Health Sciences Center, has been named to the Council on Public Health Preparedness called by U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.

The 21-member panel, which met for first time Aug. 26-27 in Washington, D.C., will advise the department on appropriate actions to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies, including acts of bioterrorism.

In a statement released by the Dept. of Health and Human Services, Thompson said, "This diverse group of very experienced professionals will be an invaluable resource in the ongoing effort to strengthen our nation's bioterrorism preparedness and response. As we continue to build our public health capabilities for emergencies, their input will be an important element in our planning."

Roth said serving on the panel is a great honor.

"My driving commitment is to work diligently within this Council and advise the Department of Health and Human Services in ways to assure the safety of all our communities," he said.

D. A. Henderson, M.D., the Secretary's principal science advisor for public health preparedness, will chair the Council on Public Health Preparedness. Henderson is the founding director of the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

At their first meeting, panel members discussed bioterrorism preparedness and response programs, states' preparedness programs, lessons learned from the last fall's anthrax mail attacks, research and development efforts, development of new products related to bioterrorism and public health emergency response planning.

Roth received his M.D. from George Washington University in 1976 and completed a family practice residency at UNM School of Medicine in 1979. He was appointed director of the Division of Emergency Medicine in the Department of Family, Community and Emergency Medicine at UNM and then later forged a new academic Department of Emergency Medicine and became its chair. In 1983, Roth was appointed Director of Ambulatory Care Services for the UNM Medical Center.

With a specific interest in disaster medicine, Roth created and then became the director of the Center for Disaster Medicine, which works with the American College of Emergency Physicians in setting national disaster response standards. In addition, Roth developed the nation's first Disaster Medical Assistance Team within the National Disaster Medical System. This team is currently the largest and most experienced team in the nation.

Roth was named Interim Director of the UNM Health Sciences Center/Interim Dean of the UNM School of Medicine in 1994. He was appointed Dean of the UNM School of Medicine and Associate Vice President for Clinical Affairs for the UNM Health Sciences Center in 1995.


Contact: Lynn Melton, 272-3322