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News Release

School of Public Health Names New Director of Center for Public Health Preparedness

Contact: Lisa James Goldsberry (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 6, 2004) -- Robert Westphal, clinical associate professor of epidemiology at the University at Albany School of Public Health, has been named director of the University's Center for Public Health Preparedness (CPHP).

"I am delighted to announce the appointment of Robert Westphal as director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness," said Peter Levin, dean of the School and principle investigator for the CPHP program. "He has worked with us since the inception of the Center in 2002, and has uncommon expertise in understanding the effects of terrorism on a population, as well as the broader implications for the individual and society. He also has the rare mixture of years of experience in scientific aspects of medicine and patient care and involved in issues of terrorism at the state Department of Health, even prior to 9/11. This all adds up to an unbeatable combination of skills to lead the Center."

Prior to his work at UAlbany, Westphal was coordinator of Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Planning for the Bureau of Communicable Disease Control at the New York State Department of Health, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont and senior principal officer of the American Red Cross Blood Services in Washington, DC. He has authored 31 articles and book chapters, as well as 13 published abstracts and 21 major presentations.

"We live in an age in which we should be striving towards global biological security, not just dealing with the most immediate hot button issues on bioterrorism. There is a lot of work to do and I am delighted for this opportunity," said Westphal.

The mission of the University at Albany Center for Public Health Preparedness is to work with state and local public health professionals in New York and Vermont, their community partners, and other selected state and federal agencies to develop education and training in public health preparedness related to terrorism or naturally-occurring events that threaten the public's health. The Center was established in 2002 with a $1 million grant from the federal government.

The School of Public Health, accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, offers graduate training that addresses some of the most challenging health issues of our day, including AIDS, drug abuse, genetic diseases, women's health, workplace hazards, environmental crises, health care reform, and the health problems of poor and minority populations. A unique partnership between the University at Albany and the New York State Department of Health, in affiliation with the Albany Medical College, the School has a faculty of approximately 200, the majority of whom are engaged in laboratory research, scholarly investigation, or policy-making activities in the New York State Department of Health, including the renowned Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research.

For information on the University at Albany's Center for Public Health Preparedness, go to

The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. The University has launched a $500 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with the goal of placing it among the nation's top 30 public research universities by the end of the decade. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit