Karen DeSalvo

Professor of Medicine & Public Health
US Department of Health and Human Services

Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc is a physician who has focused her career toward improving the health of all people, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations. She has done this through direct patient care, medical education, policy and administrative roles, research, and public service. Her commitment to improving the public’s health includes ensuring access to quality, affordable health care, strengthening the public health infrastructure and leveraging public-private partnerships to address the social determinants of health through environmental, policy and systems level change. Dr. DeSalvo most recently served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS. Before joining the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, she was Health Commissioner for the City of New Orleans, and Senior Health Policy Advisor to the New Orleans Mayor from 2011-2014. Dr. DeSalvo was also a professor of medicine and vice dean for community affairs and health policy at Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. DeSalvo earned her Medical Doctorate and Master’s in Public Health from Tulane University, and Master's in Clinical Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health. She has an honorary doctorate from her alumnus institution, Suffolk University. 

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