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Fellows in the News: Pediatricians named Florida surgeon general, deputy director at CDC, and more :

June 7, 2019

Pediatrician named Florida surgeon general

Scott A. Rivkees, M.D., FAAP, of Gainesville, Fla., was selected as surgeon general and secretary of the Florida Department of Health by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Dr. RivkeesAAP Florida Chapter treasurer, Dr. Rivkees is liaison from the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs to the AAP Committee on Federal Government Affairs.

He has contributed to the development of global standards for treating pediatric thyroid disorders and worked to improve understanding of thyroid diseases, brain injury in prematurity and molecular mechanisms of early childhood development. He is involved in leadership positions in several organizations, including the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society and American Thyroid Association and is editor in chief of the International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology.

Dr. Rivkees is chair of the University of Florida Department of Pediatrics and physician in chief at the University of Florida Shands Children’s Hospital. He also is academic chair of pediatrics at Orlando Health and pediatric chair at Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola.

Two other AAP members hold physician general or surgeon general positions: Nadine Burke Harris, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP (California) and Rachel L. Levine, M.D., FAAP (Pennsylvania). Joseph W. Thompson, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, was Arkansas surgeon general from 2005-’15.

AAP Fellow named to leadership role at CDC

Jay C. Butler, M.D., FAAP, of Anchorage, Alaska, was named deputy director for infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He most recently served as chief medical officer of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services in 2014-’18 and 2007-’09.

Dr. Butler served in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service for 22 years, retiring as captain (medical director) in 2012. He held numerous CDC positions, including director of the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Vaccine Task Force, director of the Arctic Investigations Program, member of the Hantavirus Task Force and as a leader in numerous emergency responses.

Dr. Butler also was Alaska’s state epidemiologist, directed the Native Tribal Health Consortium and was president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

Additional Fellows in the news

Dr. GrifkaRonald G.Grifka, M.D., FAAP, of Wyoming, Mich., was named chief medical officer and chief clinical quality officer of Metro Health-University of Michigan.

A member of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Sudden Cardiac Death Committee and Neonatal Oxygen Screening Committee, he is adjunct professor of cardiology at Michigan State University.

A pediatric cardiologist, he developed a device that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat congenital heart defects.


Dr. HaganJoseph F. Hagan Jr., M.D., FAAP, of Burlington, Vt., received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the KidSafe Collaborative for his care of child victims of abuse and neglect and consultation, leadership and advocacy on behalf of children through work locally, statewide and nationally.

Clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Vermont Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine (UVM), he also is UVM Children’s Hospital Child Safe Clinic consultant and practices in Burlington.

Dr. Hagan is co-editor of Bright Futures Guidelines, vice chair of the AAP Clinical Practice Guidelines Subcommittee on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and past chair of the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health.


Dr. KurtzbergJoanne Kurtzberg, M.D., FAAP, of Durham, N.C., received the Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award from the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair for achievements in pediatric hematology and oncology, pediatric blood and marrow transplantation, umbilical cord blood banking and transplantation, cellular therapies and regenerative medicine.

She is the Jerome Harris Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center and director of the Marcus Center for Cellular Cures at Duke University School of Medicine. She also is co-director of the Stem Cell Transplant Laboratory at Duke.


Dr. MoritaJulie Y. Morita, M.D., FAAP, of Chicago, was appointed executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She previous served as commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and chief medical officer, leading the department on pandemic influenza outbreak response, Ebola virus prevention planning and tobacco prevention initiatives. Dr. Morita also was responsible for overseeing the city’s four-year plan to assure health equity through social determinants of health. Before joining the CDPH, Dr. Morita was a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service officer.


Dr. MurrayKaren F. Murray, M.D., FAAP, of Seattle, was named chair of the Cleveland Clinic Pediatric Unit, physician-in-chief of Cleveland Clinic Children’s and president of Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation.

Chair of the American Board of Pediatrics Gastroenterology Sub-board, Dr. Murray is past president of the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

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