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Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; Atlanta), has named directors to head four of the agency’s national centers, including the newly created National Center for Health Marketing.

Naming of these directors marks an important step “in the transformation to a ‘new CDC’ that began two years ago,” the CDC said in a statement, “to strengthen the agency and prepare for the public health challenges ranging from SARS and pandemic flu to obesity and traumatic brain injury.”

Congress recently accepted CDC’s new strategic orientation, including the creation of four new coordinating centers and two national offices.

The new directors are:

Jay Bernhardt, PhD, to head the National Center for Health Marketing. Bernhardt is the founding director of the Center for Public Health Communication and an assistant professor of behavioral sciences and health education in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University (Atlanta). Previously he was an assistant professor of health promotion and behavior at the University of Georgia (Athens).

Howard Frumkin, MD, DrPH, to head the National Center for Environmental Health. Frumkin is professor and chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, and professor of medicine at Emory Medical School.

Janet Collins, PhD, to head the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Collins previously served as acting director for the National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, where she worked on the integration of that center into the Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases.

Filling the position of director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is Ileana Arias, PhD, acting director at the center since June 2004. Previously, Arias was the chief of the Etiology and Surveillance Branch in the Division of Violence Prevention in CDC’s Injury Center.

“These individuals are leading scientists in their fields and will strengthen our scientific foundation on all fronts. With their unique skills and abilities, the agency is certainly in good hands and in terrific position to meet the daily challenges to protect the nation’s health,” Gerberding said.

The agency said that additional center appointments are expected soon.

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