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26.04.2007

Gov. Patrick Appoints AIDS Action Board President Michael T. Wong to the Massachusetts Public Health Council

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts (AAC) Board President Michael T. Wong, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School on staff in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was appointed by Gov. Patrick as a member of the Massachusetts Public Health council, which, with the Commissioner of Public Health John Auerbach, drives public health strategies and policy in the Commonwealth. The Public Health Council promulgates rules and regulations, holds public hearings and approves certain appointments and Determination of Need applications.

"Mike's tremendous leadership on critical national and state public health policy issues including Medicare, Medicaid, budget cuts, and Ryan White Care Act Reauthorization makes him an ideal addition to this important body of leaders," said John Auerbach, Commissioner of Public Health. "I am dedicated to making Massachusetts again the nation's premier public health system, and the Council is my partner in that initiative. I'm delighted that Mike accepted the appointment, and know that he will play a pivotal role as we move forward to improve the health of all those living in the Commonwealth."

While a Senior Consultant to the Adult Medicine Clinic at Dimock Community Health Center, Dr. Wong was named Champion in Health Care by the Boston Business Journal in 2004. He was also a recipient of Washington, DC-based American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) "Distinguished Service Award" in 2006. In addition to his clinic work, he has nearly 20 years of extensive experience in healthcare policy development and serves as a
policy leader for key state and national healthcare issues. In addition to his AAC role as Board President Dr. Wong is Co-Chair of AAHIVM's Policy Committee.

He has held numerous academic appointments including at the Harvard Medical School, and is on staff at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Dimock Community Health Center. He currently heads the Transplant Infectious Diseases program at BIDMC, and he has nearly 20 years of direct patient and healthcare deliver experience.

While in Richmond as the Medical Advisor for the Virginia AIDS Drug Assistance Program he successfully negotiated state investment, eliminating the existing patient waiting list and formulary restrictions; this included a cost-sharing program which demonstrated not only significantly improved access to care, but also improved patient outcomes based upon targeted provider education.

During his tenure as President of AAC's Board, the agency successfully coordinated and lobbied for the Commonwealth's Pharmacy Access Bill decriminalizing possession of syringes and permitting purchase in pharmacies, opened the MALE Center targeted to young gay men, and expanded peer education programming. He also worked with senate legislators on the universal healthcare coverage bill for the Commonwealth.

"Mike Wong has been a true leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS. His medical training and direct patient care, give him invaluable insight into the day to day needs of those living with this terrible disease," says
Rebecca Haag, Executive Director of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts. "He has guided AIDS Action in new policy directions and with other Board members led our efforts to address the terrible health care disparities that exist in our state. I expect he will continue to be a leader on these issues while serving on the Council."

Internationally, Dr. Wong successfully developed a healthcare prevention program in Vladivostok, Russia through a USAID grant to address general vaccination strategies, blood borne pathogens, and hospital-borne infections. The partner hospital and Ministry of Health have become a regional reference center, sustaining and expanding on the programs. He is currently working with Massachusetts state legislators on a governance and healthcare development program in Pskov, Russia to support the public health infrastructure. In this capacity, he has successfully negotiated an interdisciplinary approach to Russian-based "healthy choices" strategy for secondary school children and college aged adults.


Source:  www.prnewswire.com

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