Biden adds 8 members to COVID-19 response team

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President-elect Joe Biden announced Jan. 15 that he has appointed eight new members to the COVID-19 response team tasked with implementing his pandemic response strategy.

Here are the new members of the COVID-19 response team: 

1. Amy Chang will serve as a policy adviser. She previously worked in the Obama administration as a special assistant in the office of the secretary at HHS. 

2. Abbe Gluck will serve as special counsel. She is the Alfred M. Rankin Professor of Law and founding faculty director of the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School and professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. 

3. David Kessler, MD, was appointed chief science officer of COVID-19 response. He serves as a co-chair of the president-elect's COVID-19 task force and was the commissioner of the FDA from 1990 to 1997. He's a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, and has also served as dean of the medical schools at Yale and UCSF. He will replace Moncef Slaoui, PhD, who is currently leading Operation Warp Speed, the federal program to accelerate development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. 

4. Rosa Po was appointed COVID-19 response team deputy chief of staff. She serves as an adviser to domestic/economic agency review on the Biden transition. During the Obama administration, she served as a policy adviser to the assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at HHS. 

5. Andy Slavitt was appointed senior adviser to the COVID-19 response coordinator. He served as acting administrator for CMS under President Obama, overseeing Medicaid, Medicare, the Children's Health Insurance Program, payment reform and the health insurance marketplace. He helped lead the turnaround of healthcare.gov. 

6. Vidur Sharma will serve as policy adviser for testing. He served in the Obama administration as a health policy adviser on the domestic policy council. In that role, he supported the implementation of the ACA and collaborated with community stakeholders to further the administration's health policy agenda.

7. Ben Wakana was appointed deputy director of strategic communications and engagement. He serves as the COVID-19 and healthcare outreach lead on the Biden transition team. He was previously executive director of Patients for Affordable Drugs, a nonprofit focused on lowering prescription drug prices. 

8. Cameron Webb, MD, will serve as senior policy adviser for COVID-19 equity. He is an assistant professor of medicine and public health science and the director of health policy and equity at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville. 


More articles on leadership and management:
Hospitals questioned for including board members in 1st rounds of COVID-19 vaccines
What hospitals are learning as they distribute the COVID-19 vaccine
Cleveland Clinic changes mission statement

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