Fenty Appoints District HIV/AIDS Administration Leader

By Joe Holley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 9, 2007; 1:00 PM

Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) announced this morning that he has appointed a public health physician who has worked with HIV-infected people in several countries to lead the District's HIV/AIDS Administration.

Fenty's choice, Dr. Shannon Lee Hader, is an epidemiologist and public health physician who has worked with HIV-infected children and adults in Brazil, Jamaica and Zimbabwe.

Until her appointment by the mayor, she was on detail from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the State Department as the senior scientific advisor for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. She focused on starting up the Public Health Evaluation Initiative for the $15 billion worldwide program.

If confirmed by the city council, Hader would be the third director in as many years for the agency. The position has been open since January, when Fenty chose not to keep Dr. Marsha Martin in the position. The District's Health Department director, Gregg Pane, announced that he intended to reorganize the office and then named himself as interim director.

Hader, who received her medical degree from Columbia University and trained in internal medicine and pediatrics at Duke University Medical School, joined the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1999 as an epidemic intelligence service officer.

More recently she has directed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Zimbabwe Global AIDS Program. She also has served as an adjunct clinical faculty member at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

"We're very excited that Dr. Hader is joining our team," said Leila Abrar, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Department of Health. "Dr. Hader is an outstanding clinician and researcher with a wealth of national and international frontline experience in the fight against this epidemic."

Fenty has called HIV/AIDS the top public-health priority of his administration. Under a campaign launched last summer, the city wants all residents between 14 and 84 to be tested to find out their HIV status. About 48,000 people were screened in 2006, a 75 percent increase over the previous year, but the campaign has fallen well short of its goal.

Fenty made his announcement at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Congress Heights Clinic, 3720 Martin Luther King Blvd. SE.

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