Congratulations are in order for CCHE Health Equity Research Fellow Ryan Westergaard, MD, PhD, MPH ~
Dr. Westergaard has accepted a position to serve as the Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services starting this August! This new role is a unique opportunity to more formally align the efforts of his collaborative team at UW & the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (DPH), and in the true spirit of The Wisconsin Idea, leverage the knowledge and resources they have developed toward the benefit of the entire state.
His motivation for pursuing this opportunity is to help grow DPH into a national model for academic health departments. His group has already shown how State and Local Health Departments can function in true partnership with university-affiliated research enterprises and community-based organizations working on the front lines of health promotion and disease prevention.
Dr. Westergaard plans to remain deeply engaged in the research and clinical activities that are aligned with the mission of reducing suffering from HIV, viral hepatitis and other infectious diseases. He will retain a faculty position at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and will continue to serve as principal investigator for ongoing projects, supporting an outstanding team of scientists, administrators, field staff and trainees as they implement the next phase of the Rural Opioid Initiative and pursue other projects that advance the mission of DPH. His clinical workload will be scaled back within the Division of Infectious Diseases at UW, but he will continue to provide HIV care for patients through his continuity clinic at UW Health.
Congratulations, Ryan! We’re so excited to watch you step into this new state leadership role and continue making inroads in health equity in Wisconsin.