Press Releases - 9/12/06
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 09/12/06
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER HEADS U.S. ASSOCIATION
Washington (September 12, 2006)—
Poki Stewart Namkung, MD, MPH, health officer of Santa Cruz County, assumed the presidency of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in July at the association's annual meeting in San Antonio, TX.
Dr. Namkung was previously director of public health for the City of Berkeley Public Health Department. In 2001 and 2002, Dr. Namkung served as president of the California Conference of Local Health Officers.
"Public health is at a critical juncture in this country and I am grateful for this tremendous opportunity and challenge to lead NACCHO," said Dr. Namkung. "I plan to focus my presidency on issues that have resonated with mind, my heart and my soul for many years, including: reducing health inequities; raising public education on key health issues, like pandemic flu; strengthening school-based health for children; and increasing the use of new technologies, like health information exchanges, to improve community health."
Dr. Namkung is a first generation immigrant who came to public health late in life after many years of political activism. Throughout her career, she has served on many Boards and Commissions, including chairing the PTA and the Parks and Recreation Commission for the City of Berkeley. Her volunteer activities reflect her long-standing and abiding interest in the health of her community, with a particular interest in the well being of women and children.
"The health of the public is intimately tied to global warming and I hope to guide public health to work with others in their communities and nationally to educate and find solutions for this crucial issue during my presidency," Dr. Namkung continued. "Life in America must change and we in public health must be brave enough to face that. Each of us has a role, individually and collectively to help our communities live differently to protect the earth."
Dr. Namkung earned her medical degree at University of California, Davis. She completed a preventive medicine residency at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also earned a master's degree in public health. The California Public Health Association-North honored Dr. Namkung in 2003 with its Public Health Leadership Award.
NACCHO is the national organization representing the nation's nearly 3,000 local health departments. These agencies work every day on the front lines to protect and promote the health of their communities. NACCHO develops resources and programs and promotes national policies that support effective local public health practice.