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CDC Appoints New Division of Blood Disorders Director

Hani Atrash, MD, MPH, is the new Director of the Division of Blood Disorders (DBD) in the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He succeeds Roshni Kulkarni, MD, who is returning to her professorship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Michigan State University. She will also remain a senior medical advisor in the DBD.

Atrash, an expert in program development and implementation of national public health initiatives, will work with DBD scientists and staff to enhance and expand the division’s blood disorder programs. They plan to increase DBD’s collaboration with other divisions at CDC, partners at state and local health departments, and private organizations.

Atrash’s joined the CDC was in 1979, working in the Epidemic Intelligence Service in the Family Planning Evaluation Division. During his first year, he was assigned to the Tennessee Department of Health. From 1981-1984 Atrash was assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the American University of Beirut (AUB). During that time he was assigned to the Bahrain Ministry of Health as Public Health Consultant and Manager of the Office of Professional Standards and Systems Analysis. He also served as epidemiologist for the country.

In 1985, Atrash returned to the CDC, joining the Division of Reproductive Health in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. He first served as visiting scientist (1985-87), then chief of the pregnancy morbidity and mortality section (1987-89) and finally as chief of the pregnancy and infant health branch (1989-2001). During his tenure, Atrash developed several nationally recognized programs in maternal and child health. He led the CDC activities on Safe Motherhood, working closely with state and local health departments, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the World Health Organization.

In 2001, Atrash joined NCBDDD as Associate Director for Program Development, managing activities related to global health, workforce development and women’s health. He established key relationships with national organizations, state and local health departments and minority health organizations. During the last four years, Atrash spearheaded the new CDC program on Preconception Care.

Atrash is an accomplished scientist and prolific writer. He has authored and edited hundreds of published studies. He serves on a variety of key national advisory committees. Atrash has received numerous honors and awards within the CDC and at the national level for his work improving the health of mothers and children.

Atrash received his MD from AUB and his Masters in Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.


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