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Mol Interv. 2003 Aug;3(5):242-7.

D.A. Henderson: acting globally, thinking locally.


They had said that it couldn't be done-the worldwide eradication of smallpox. To hear D.A. Henderson tell it, the job of leading the World Health Organization's initiative to conquer the disease in the 1960s and 1970s rather fell into his lap. In fact, he describes each of the posts that he has held with great modesty, beginning with his military service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all the way through his assignments as Dean of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, Associate Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President, and more recently as Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness under Secretary Thompson at the Department of Health and Human Services. Confronted with enormous challenges in terms of public health initiatives, Henderson describes each assignment as a matter of communicating with the people he works with and the people that he serves, and drawing on their insights to devise strategies for accomplishing the task at hand. With bioterrorism posing one of the major public health concerns to face the United States and the world, it's gratifying to know that someone with Henderson's track record and wide-ranging expertise is paying attention and making sure that medical and government officials are preparing to respond to the threat. Again and again, Henderson appears to have the knack for showing up in the right place at the right time with just the right idea.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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