New CDC director supported pharmacy practice as Georgia health commissioner

Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, backed immunization, overdose prevention roles

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, MD, announced last week the appointment of Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, as the new director of CDC. Fitzgerald, an obstetrician-gynecologist, had served as Georgia’s public health director since 2011. She assumed her role at CDC on July 7, 2017.

Liza Chapman, PharmD, FAPhA, is the president and board chair of the Georgia Pharmacy Association. “Under the direction and leadership of Dr. Fitzgerald, the profession of pharmacy in the state of Georgia has advanced in providing immunization services and opioid overdose prevention measures to the citizens of the state,” said Chapman, pharmacy clinical sales manager at the Atlanta division of Kroger. “The Department of Public Health and Dr. Fitzgerald have recognized the important role that pharmacists play in the improvement of health outcomes for our patients.”

As Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner, Fitzgerald oversaw the state’s public health programs and directed 18 public health districts and 159 county health departments. Fitzgerald had served as a health care policy advisor for former House Speaker Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-GA) and held leadership positions at the Georgia Obstetrical-Gynecological Society, Georgia Public Policy Foundation, and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, where she is the current president-elect.

“The Georgia Pharmacy Association wishes Dr. Fitzgerald well wishes as she embarks on the new endeavor of leading CDC,” added Chapman.