Dr. Dushanka V. Kleinman, associate dean for research in the University of Maryland School of Public Health, was appointed by the department of health and human services to co-chair the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030. She joins 13 other nationally recognized experts in health promotion, disease prevention, epidemiology, health literacy, communication, law, and state and local public health practice.
[Photo: Dr. Dushanka V. Kleinman]
Over the next two years, the Committee will examine current scientific evidence and submit recommendations to the Secretary of HHS with rationales to inform the development and implementation of the nation’s disease prevention and health promotion objectives for Healthy People 2030. Along with public and federal agency comments, these recommendations will be used by HHS to develop the next iteration of the Healthy People initiative.
“I see this as an honor, but also as an opportunity to work with the rest of the community in guiding the direction of the initiative,” which will reach its 50th anniversary with its 2030 iteration, Dr. Kleinman said.
Dr. Kleinman has been involved in Healthy People since its inception, when she was focused more specifically on dental issues at NIH’s National Institute of Dental Research (now National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.) She said the Healthy People initiative has transcended different administrations and changes, and has always been about stakeholders — not the government — coming together to set the agenda for the country’s overarching health goals.
Since 1979, the Healthy People initiative has set disease prevention and health promotion objectives for the nation. Healthy People establishes specific, science-based, measurable objectives with targets that are used to benchmark and monitor progress over the course of a decade. Healthy People 2030 will be the fifth such effort, charting the course to improve the nation’s health starting in the year 2020 through 2030.
“A key component of Healthy People is its emphasis on eliminating health disparities by addressing social determinants of health,” Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services acting assistant secretary for health, said. “Healthy People drives action across sectors to improve the health of our nation’s communities and prevent health disparities due to factors like zip code, economic stability, education, community, and access to health care.”
Dr. Kleinman is also diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health (ABDPH). In this position, she supports interdisciplinary research, fosters university partnerships with communities and healthcare organizations, and advocates for campus-wide research resources and support for women and minority faculty. She has also played a key role in ensuring the continued accreditation of the UMD School of Public Health. During her years working for the federal government, she served as deputy director, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH and assistant surgeon general (Rear Admiral), U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. In 2006, she completed a five-year term as the fifteenth chief dental officer, USPHS and was the co-editor of the first-ever Surgeon General’s report on oral health. Dr. Kleinman has served as president of ABDPH, the American Association of Women Dentists, and the American Association of Public Health Dentistry. She received her DDS from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry and her MScD in dental public health from Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. She is a member of the Santa Fe Group, National Oral Health Literacy Advisory Committee, American Dental Association, and the Board of the Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health.