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Mayor Fischer Names New Health Director

March 30, 2016

Dr. Joann Schulte leaves Texas post for Louisville

Louisville's new director of health is a seasoned public health professional with extensive experience in epidemiology, toxicology and health communication. Board certified in general pediatrics and preventive medicine, Dr. Joann Schulte comes to Louisville from Dallas, where she served as a Medical Toxicology Fellow at the North Texas Poison Control Center at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

"Dr. Schulte brings a wealth of public health experience gained at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and in such urban centers as Dallas and Atlanta," said Mayor Greg Fischer. "She is well-qualified to build on the progress we have made toward making Louisville a much healthier city."

Dr. Schulte's first day as Louisville's new public health director will be April 19.

Prior to her post in Dallas, Dr. Schulte was an Editorial Fellow with the New England Journal of Medicine. Much of Dr. Schulte's public health career has been spent as a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

During her time at the CDC, she investigated more than 100 disease outbreaks, and worked in vaccine-preventable diseases, immunizations, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis. At the NIH, Dr. Schulte was the medical epidemiologist on a Phase III trial to evaluate the efficacy of genital herpes vaccine in women.

Dr. Schulte also has served as the chief of epidemiology for HIV/AIDS for the Texas Department of State Health Services and as acting state epidemiologist for the Florida Department of Health, and chief of its outbreak investigation unit.  There she was recognized for her work on public health issues related to eight hurricanes that struck the state in a two-year period.

Before attending medical school, Dr. Schulte was the medical reporter for the Dallas Morning News. She currently serves on the editorial board of Pediatrics, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and is an assistant editor for the Southern Medical Journal.

Dr. Schulte holds a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and a Masters of Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta.

"I am tremendously happy to have the opportunity to serve in Louisville," said Dr. Schulte. "This position represents the culmination of my public health experience.  I hope to bring all that I have learned to build on the progress of my predecessors and significantly improve the overall health of Louisville."

She also will have a faculty appointment at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health. Louisville Metro Government and the university will split Dr. Schulte's $180,000 annual salary and benefits equally.

"Dr. Schulte brings an impressive array of experiences to the position, and we look forward to collaborating with her on initiatives to tackle the health issues of our city and region as we prepare the next generation of public health professionals," said Craig H. Blakely, PhD, MPH, Dean of the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences. "Dr. Schulte has a solid mix of field work and scholarly productivity. Her wealth of experience should serve the city well."

Fischer praised the work of Dr. Sarah Moyer, who has served as interim health director for the past 14 months.  Dr. Moyer will stay with the department as medical director.  Under Dr. Moyer's leadership, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness established Kentucky's first syringe exchange program to protect the community from outbreaks of blood-borne disease from needle sharing among intravenous drug users.

"I want to offer heartfelt thanks to Dr. Moyer for her strong, dedicated leadership," said Fischer.

Further background on Dr. Schulte

Joann Schulte, DO, MPH
Medical Toxicology Fellow
North Texas Poison Control Center
Parkland Memorial Hospital - Dallas, Texas

Dr. Schulte previously served as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, assigned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  She retired from the CDC in 2013.

Dr. Schulte received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science from Florida International University, a medical degree from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Emory University. She also holds a Medical Editing Certificate from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Schulte is board certified in Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine.

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