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Public Health Expert to Join American Cancer Society
Former Health and Human Services Official Will Lead Prevention and Early Detection Programs
PR Newswire

ATLANTA, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Cancer Society announced today that Rosemarie "Rosie" Henson, senior advisor to the assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will join the Society as senior vice president for prevention and early detection, effective January 2015.

Henson, MSSW, MPH, will be a member of the Society's Cancer Control team, headed by Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer. She brings more than 20 years of public health leadership experience to this position with major contributions in cancer control, tobacco control, childhood obesity, viral hepatitis, health disparities and global health.       

"Rosie Henson is one of our nation's most effective public health leaders," said Wender. "She works by getting the right people and the right organizations to commit to carefully defined shared goals, then works strategically to get real results.  She is a universally trusted figure, respected for her policy and cancer control know-how and will be a true asset in our life-saving mission."

Dr. Howard Koh, former U.S. assistant secretary for health, said, "Rosie is a true public health gem. No one can possibly match her unique combination of strategic vision, brilliant judgment, depth of experience, effervescent personality and love of people. She is a universally beloved and respected practitioner and leader.  Rosie now brings her special gifts to American Cancer Society, which will undoubtedly lead to more lives saved in the future."

Henson joined Koh as senior advisor in 2010, where she was responsible for key national and global policy issues, strategic initiatives, and collaborations with external organizations. She directed department-wide efforts to develop HHS strategic action plans on several priority public health issues, including tobacco control, viral hepatitis, health disparities, and colorectal cancer.  Rosie co-led the department's year-long activities and strategy to prepare for the 2011 United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases. Henson led the HHS team that published and released the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General's report: The Health Consequences of Smoking-50 Years of Progress. In May 2014, the team received the Secretary's Award for Meritorious Service for this significant accomplishment.  

Rosie also worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she held a variety of leadership positions.  She is the former deputy director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion with the mission of advancing the prevention and control of chronic diseases. In partnership with the center director, Henson directed the Center's 10 scientific divisions with 1,400 employees and an annual budget of almost $1 billion. She is credited with strengthening the Center's portfolio of prevention programs through enhanced collaborations with state health agencies and national partners.

In addition, Henson served as the director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health from 2001 to 2004 and directed CDC's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program that has screened millions of underserved women across the nation.

Henson holds a master's degree in public health and a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.  She has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service in 2007; the Surgeon General's Certificate of Appreciation for Exemplary Efforts for the landmark Surgeon General's Report on the Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke in 2006; and the Jeffrey P. Koplan Award for outstanding leadership in global tobacco surveillance.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As we celebrate 100 years of service, we're determined to finish the fight against cancer. We're finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141113/158507

SOURCE American Cancer Society