Prominent cardiologist Valentin Fuster to lead global health committee

Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, the director of Mount Sinai Heart in New York, has been named co-chair of the Committee on Global Health and the Future of the United States.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), which established the 15-person committee, said the members would evaluate whether two prior reports led to more effective investments in global health initiatives. The committee will then assess the current state of global health affairs and make recommendations to the new U.S. president and other global health leaders on how to prioritize resources.

Fuster is the physician-in-chief at Mount Sinai Hospital, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and former president of the American Heart Association and the World Heart Federation

The other co-chair is Jendayi E. Frazer, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs from 2005 to 2009 who is currently an adjunct senior fellow for Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a visiting professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

The committee met for the first time Sept. 29 and 30 in Washington, D.C. It plans on releasing a draft report in April 2017. Experts who are anonymous to the committee will then review the draft and offer recommendations. NASEM will also offer comments to the committee before it becomes an official report.

The following organizations have sponsored the committee: the FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Defense, Rockefeller Foundation, Medtronic, Merck Foundation, Becton, Dickinson and Company, National Institutes of Health and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief at the Department of State.

The other members of the committee are:

  • Gisela Abbam - global executive director for government affairs & policy for GE Healthcare
  • Amie Batson – chief strategy officer at PATH
  • Frederick Burkle Jr. - senior fellow and scientist at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and Harvard School of Public Health
  • Lynda Chin - associate vice chancellor for health transformation and chief innovation officer for health affairs at the University of Texas System
  • Stephanie Ferguson – professor at Stanford University and healthcare consultant
  • Lia Haskin Fernald – director of public health nutrition and professor at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Peter Lamptey – public health physician and former director of several projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Ramanan Laxminarayan – lecturer at Princeton University and director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy
  • Michael Merson – professor of global health at Duke University and founding director of the Duke Global Health Institute
  • Vasant Narasimhan – global head of drug development and chief medical officer at Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • Michael Osterholm – professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota
  • Juan Puyana – trauma and clinical care surgeon and associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh