Former Surgeon General Promotes Health in Youth

Antonia C. Novello

Antonia C. Novello

A woman who became a historic 'first' and remains a prominent role model for woman and minorities is coming to Albany to continue her global message to youth — a message that speaks out on the prevention of alcohol abuse and AIDS.

Dr. Antonia Coello Novello, M.D., M.P.H., the 14th Surgeon General of the U.S., and the first woman and first Hispanic to serve in the post, will give the keynote address, "Alcohol, AIDS, and Sexuality on College Campuses," during the fifth annual National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week on Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. A reception will follow in Futterer Lounge. The event is coordinated by the University Counseling Center.

"We chose Dr. Novello for this event because she has been a leading figure in alcohol and drug prevention for college students around the country," says M. Dolores Cimini, coordinator for alcohol and drug abuse prevention at the University Counseling Center.

Novello, currently serving as UNICEF Special Representative for Health and Nutrition, was sworn in as Surgeon General by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on March 9, 1990. In that role she advised the public on issues such as smoking, AIDS, and disease prevention.

"Dr. Novello was key to our selection as speaker," emphasizes Estela Rivero, director of the University Counseling Center," because she reflects a life-long committment to public service and is a model for all of us. The fact that her focus has been behind health issues such as smoking, AIDS, and substance abuse prevention involves tackling issues central to our health."

In her position with UNICEF, Novello again provides a voice in the global fight to prevent smoking and substance abuse in youth. "Her leadership in the prevention of these behavorial patterns by focusing on young adults holds promise of having long term effects on our country," said Rivero.

As a board-certified pediatrician Novello has devoted much of her efforts to the research of pediatric AIDS. She holds faculty appointments at the University of Michigan and Georgetown University School of Medicine. She says she considers herself first and foremost a physician whose motto is "good science and good sense". Among her numerous awards and honors are the National Council of Alcohol and Drug Dependency Golden Key Award and the Government Leaders against Drunk Driving Award.

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