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National Organization Names Three R.I. Physicians 'Public Health Heroes'

PROVIDENCE – The Association of State and Health Territorial Officials (ASTHO) has designated three Rhode Island physicians as "Public Health Heroes." The three designees — Gary Bubly, Josiah D. Rich and Peter Simon — were nominated for this distinction by the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH).

"Each of these three doctors brings a high degree of dedication and professionalism to his public health work," said Michael Fine, MD, director of HEALTH. "They are examples of the great resource that is Rhode Island's primary care and medical community, as well as examples of how much progress can be made through the partnership of primary care and public health."

Gary Bubly, MD, FACEP, is director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at The Miriam Hospital and is a clinical associate professor of emergency medicine and medicine at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. HEALTH nominated Dr. Bubly for his assistance in writing regulatory language regarding emergency dispensing of medications from emergency rooms and for his assistance in developing the state's legislation on its new Prescription Monitoring Program.

Josiah D. Rich, MD, MPH, is professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University and an attending physician at The Miriam Hospital. HEALTH nominated Dr. Rich for his work in advocating for health policy changes to improve the health of people with addiction, including improving legal access to sterile syringes and increasing drug treatment for the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated populations.

Peter Simon, MD, MPH, is the medical director of the Division of Community, Family Health, and Equity at HEALTH. HEALTH nominated Dr. Simon for his work as a national leader in the areas of childhood lead poisoning prevention, newborn screening, and environmental health, and for his passion and commitment to public health.

The United Health Foundation (UHF), with the help of ASTHO, has posted a list of public health heroes who serve as examples of the important work public health professionals carry out in our communities and across the United States. These individuals were included in press releases and announcements in coordination with the release of the 2012 edition of UHF's America's Health Rankings.


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