Former U.S. Surgeon General to Visit WVU Oct. 23

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – New York State Health Commissioner and former U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Coello Novello, M.D., MPH, Dr.P.H., will visit West Virginia University on Oct. 23 to kick off a series of events celebrating women in health care.

Dr. Novello will serve as the keynote speaker for the first event, “Honoring Women Health Care Professionals Opening Ceremonies,” beginning at 6 p.m. in the Health Sciences Center Auditorium. The event is open to the public, and coincides with the arrival of “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians,” a traveling exhibition that introduces some of the many extraordinary women who have studied and practiced medicine. 

The exhibit, sponsored by the American Library Association and the National Library of Medicine, has been a catalyst for the development of a series of public programs at the Health Sciences Center and several other locations on campus this fall. These programs will highlight the contributions of women health professionals and also reach out to the public with information about health issues and careers for women in health care. It will be open through Dec. 8.

“Dr. Novello is one of many remarkable women who have transformed health care – not only in America, but around the world,” said Robert M. D’Alessandri, WVU vice president for health sciences. “It is a great honor to have Dr. Novello share her expertise with our faculty, staff and students, and to join us as we celebrate women health care professionals.”

As New York State Health Commissioner, Dr. Novello heads one of the leading public health agencies in the nation. She is responsible for a $49.4 billion budget, the largest of any New York State agency and over one-third the total of the entire New York State budget.

Prior to being appointed as the New York State Health Commissioner, Dr. Novello previously served as the 14th Surgeon General of the U.S., and was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 1990. Her appointment marked two firsts: Dr. Novello became the first woman and the first Hispanic ever to hold this position. As Surgeon General, Dr. Novello advised the public on health matters, such as smoking, AIDS, diet and nutrition, environmental health hazards, and the importance of immunization and disease prevention. 

- WVU -

For more information:
Steve Bovino, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087

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