State Announces Command Center Advisory Board of Medical Experts, Infectious Disease Specialists

On Weds., March 25, the state announced the COVID-19 Advisory Board, a group of medical experts that will support the Response Command Center as the Commonwealth continues to respond to COVID-19.

The Response Command Center, under the leadership of Secretary Marylou Sudders and reporting to Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, is the Commonwealth’s single point of strategic decision making and coordination for the Administration’s comprehensive COVID-19 response.

The COVID-19 Advisory Board, which first met on Wednesday, March 19, will advise the COVID-19 Response Command Center on key decision points in the state’s response, including expanding access to testing and planning for medical surge, and will formally meet weekly for updates. Advisory Board members include:

•Scott Gottlieb, MD, American Enterprise Institute – Scott Gottlieb, M.D., is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He returned to AEI in 2019 after serving as the 23rd commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At AEI, he continues his work on improving public health through entrepreneurship and medical innovation and on expanding regulatory approaches to maintain patient and physician autonomy.

•Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital – Dr. Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a practicing Infectious Disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Walensky’s research interests focus on model-based analyses of the cost-effectiveness of HIV testing, care, and prevention strategies to inform HIV/AIDS policy internationally and domestically.

•Paul Biddinger, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital – Dr. Paul Biddinger holds the MGH Endowed Chair in Emergency Preparedness and is the Director of the Center for Disaster Medicine, and Vice Chairman for Emergency Preparedness in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Mass General. He is also the Director for Emergency Preparedness at Partners Healthcare. Dr. Biddinger additionally serves as the Director of the Emergency Preparedness Research, Evaluation and Practice (EPREP) Program at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and holds appointments at Harvard Medical School and at the Chan School. Dr. Biddinger serves as a special advisor to the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Committee on Preparedness and serves as a medical officer for the MA-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) in the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

•Michael Wagner, MD, FACP, Wellforce – Dr. Michael Wagner is a physician leader who combines his unique experience as a primary care physician, hospitalist, entrepreneur and CEO to transform health care. Dr. Wagner has worked with caregivers in academic and community health care settings throughout the country. Today, he is the Interim CEO and Chief Physician Executive of Wellforce, a $2B and growing health system in Eastern Massachusetts that has been recognized for its high quality, lower cost value position and its commitment to keeping care in the community.

•Eric Lander, PhD, Broad Institute – Eric Lander is president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. A geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician, he has played a pioneering role in all aspects of the reading, understanding, and biomedical application of the human genome. He was a principal leader of the Human Genome Project.

The Baker-Polito Administration announced the creation of a new COVID-19 Response Command Center on March 14, 2020.

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