D.C.'s HIV/AIDS office is in good hands
By Guy-Oreido Weston
Regarding the June 11 Metro article “Vacuum feared at top of D.C. HIV/AIDS agency”:
There’s no question that Shannon L. Hader made great strides in improving what had been a floundering public health enterprise. Her leadership inspired confidence for a host of providers and consumers that rely on the HIV/AIDS office for funding, data and technical assistance to build and coordinate solutions to the burgeoning public health problem of HIV/AIDS. Ms. Hader’s emphasis on science and data-driven program planning provided insight into the dynamics of the District’s epidemic that was unparalleled in recent memory.
That said, I find The Post story off base for saying that the HIV/AIDS Administration is left “without a strong leader at a time when federal agencies are pouring millions of dollars into the District to study its epidemic infection rate.” Ms. Hader also can be credited with establishing the position of chief medical officer within her management team. Nnemdi Kamanu Elias, the chief medical officer, who has been appointed interim director of the HIV/AIDS agency, has an Ivy League medical education, completed her residency at one of the nation’s premier HIV-care hospitals, and has held senior management positions in HIV programs in the Netherlands and Tanzania.
It is unreasonable to suggest that she is not prepared for the task before her. Ultimately, we must focus more on effective and innovative strategies to fight the epidemic and less on such distracting questions.
The writer is a consultant to local HIV/AIDS programs and a former director of data and research at the HIV/AIDS Administration.
Posted by: dokadow | June 16, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse
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