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December 19, 2005

Bloomberg School Graduate Appointed to Federal Posts

John O. Agwunobi, MD, MPH, MBA, a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services. As assistant secretary, Agwunobi oversees the U.S. Office of Public Health Science and the Public Health Service.

Agwunobi is a trained pediatrician, who earned his Master of Public Health degree from the Bloomberg School in 2004. Before being nominated by President Bush, Agwunobi served as secretary and state health officer at the Florida Department of Health.

Agwunobi came to prominence for his handling of the anthrax mail attack in 2001, which was first detected with the death of a Palm Beach County man. The outbreak occured one day after Agwunobi's appointment as Florida’s health secretary.  According to published accounts, Agwunobi dealt with outbreaks Cyclospora cases and an E. coli outbreak traced to animals at petting zoos during his time in office. His biography indictated he is also worked to reduce Florida's infant mortality rate and improve access to health care.—Tim Parsons