The Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health

The Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health is an annual appointment of a prominent health care professional with real-world public policy experience.  Fellows teach undergraduate and graduate students, conducts faculty seminars, and serves as a scholar-in-residence in the Hunter Community.

2014 – Dr. Thomas A. Farley, MD, MPH

Farley_articleDr. Farley was appointed New York City Health Commissioner in May 2009. One of the world’s oldest and largest public health agencies, the department has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and more than 6,000 staff. In recent years the agency has undertaken a number of innovative initiatives, including a comprehensive tobacco control program, the elimination of trans fats in restaurant food, a requirement for chain restaurants to post calorie information on menu boards, and development of an electronic health record.

Before joining the Agency, Dr. Farley was chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He received his MD and Master of Public Health degrees from Tulane University. Trained as a pediatrician, he served in the Centers for Disease Control’s Epidemic Intelligence Service and worked for the CDC and the Louisiana Office of Public Health from 1989 to 2000. During that period he directed programs to control various infectious diseases. He has conducted research and published articles on a wide range of topics, including Legionnaires’ disease, prevention of HIV/STDs, infant mortality, and obesity. Dr. Farley is coauthor with RAND Senior Scientist Deborah Cohen of Prescription for a Healthy Nation (Beacon Press). He served as Senior Adviser to New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden in 2007 and 2008.

2013 – Dr. Richard Jackson, MD, MPH

imagesDr. Richard Jackson is the 2013 Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health at Hunter College.  While at Roosevelt, Dr. Jackson will focus on public health issues relating to climate change.  Dr. Jackson is Professor and Chair of Environmental Health Sciences at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. A pediatrician, he has served in many leadership positions in both environmental health and infectious disease with the California Health Department, including the highest as the State Health Officer.  For nine years he was Director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta and received the Presidential Distinguished Service award.  In October, 2011 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

While in California he helped establish the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program and state and national laws to reduce risks from pesticides, especially to farm workers and to children. While at CDC he established the national asthma epidemiology and control program, oversaw the childhood lead poisoning prevention program, and instituted the federal effort to “biomonitor” chemical levels in the US population.  He has received the Breast Cancer Fund’s Hero Award, as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Public Health Law Association, and the New Partners for Smart Growth.  In October, 2012 he received the John Heinz Award for Leadership in the Environment.

Dick Jackson lectures and speaks on many issues, particularly those related to built environment and health.  He co-authored two Island Press Books: Urban Sprawl and Public Health in 2004 and Making Healthy Places in 2011. He is host of a 2012 public television series Designing Healthy Communities which links to the J Wiley & Sons book by the same name published in October, 2011.  He has served on many environmental and health boards, as well as the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects. He is an elected honorary member of both the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects. Richard Jackson is married to Joan Guilford Jackson; they have three grown children and one grandchild.

2012 – Professor Sue Atkinson CBE BSc MB BChir MA FFPH 

atkinsonSue Atkinson was the 2012 Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health at Hunter College. Based at Roosevelt House, she is focussing on comparative public health policies between New York and London, USA and UK. Previously she was the first Director of Public Health for London and developed the role as Health Advisor to the Mayor and Greater London Authority. She is Visiting Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London and the UCL Institute of Health Equity. She holds a number of Board appointments including University College Hospitals London NHS Foundation Trust, the UK Food Standards Agency and is Co-Chair of the Climate and Health Council.

Sue studied Medicine at Cambridge University and initially trained as a paediatrician and practiced as a Primary Care Physician before developing her career in Public Health.
In recognition of her contribution to public health, Sue was honoured by the Queen, being made a Commander of the British Empire in 2002.

2011 – Dr. Georges Benjamin

benjaminpicAmerican Public Health Association Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin MD, FACP, FACEP (E), was appointed as the fall 2011 Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Benjamin was able to take a brief sabbatical from his role as executive director of APHA and we were honored that he could spend the semester here at Roosevelt House.

During his fellowship, Benjamin taught a course; led a faculty seminar; gave a public lecture; helped plan the annual Joan H. Tisch Public Health Forum, and hosted a lunch for students while pursuing public health research over the semester.

2010 – Dr. John McDonough

Dr. John McDonough was the inaugural Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health (Spring 2010-Fall 2010).  Dr. McDonough served until January 2010 as Senior Adviser to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.  He was Chief Adviser on health care reform to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and previously served as the Executive Director of Health Care For All, a Massachusetts consumer health advocacy organization.

During his time at Roosevelt House, Dr. McDonough taught a graduate course on the politics and policy of health care reform, and lead an interdisciplinary faculty seminar dealing with current public health issues, which culminated in a conference entitled, “National Health Reform and Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health and Health Care.”  Among other accomplishments, he organized and led a Brown Bag lunch discussion in conjunction with the Hunter College chapter of Roosevelt Institute Campus Network on national health care reform, co-convened a Food Policy Summit with Dr. Nick Freudenberg to discuss New York City’s past, present and future food systems, and led the Joan H. Tisch Public Health Forums.

See also:

Inside National Health Reform
by John E. McDonough
University of California Press/Milbank, 339 pp., $34.95

Reviewed by Madrick, Jeff.  Obama & Health Care: The Straight Story. New York Review of Books, June 21, 2012.


Dr. John McDonough discusses his book Inside National Health Reform with Dr. Georges Benjamin