March 15, 2011

Moyer Appointed New Chair Of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Dr. Virginia Moyer, professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and chief quality officer for medicine at Texas Children's Hospital, has been appointed new chair of the United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of health care quality experts that reviews and makes recommendations for clinical preventive health services for Americans.

Moyer's appointment became effective March 11 during a special presentation at the Task Force's regular meeting in Gaithersburg, Md.

Moyer is an expert in public health, evidence-based medicine (using best available scientific evidence to make clinical decisions) and diagnostic testing.

Scientific-based information

"This USPSTF is directed by Congress to assure Americans that recommendations about preventive care are based on the best available scientific information," said Moyer. "As a member of the scientific community, I am honored to have the opportunity to return to this group to serve as its chair. "

Moyer served as a member of the Task Force from 2002 "“ 2008. As chair, Moyer will serve a three-year term and oversee the 16-member committee. Supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Task Force is comprised of non-federal, prevention and evidence-based medical experts including internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/obstetricians, nurses and health behavior specialists.

The group conducts scientific reviews of screening, counseling and preventive medicine protocols to help make and update recommendations for primary care clinicians and other health systems. In recent years, the group has reviewed and updated recommendations for counseling and interventions for adult smoking cessation, aspirin use for prevention of heart disease and screenings for adult depression, breast cancer, skin cancer and osteoporosis.

Dr. Albert L. Siu, chairman and professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and Dr. Michael L. LeFevre, professor and associate chair of family and community medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, were also appointed as co-vice chairs of the Task Force.

Full spectrum of expertise

"The new leadership of the USPSTF brings extensive experience in pediatric, geriatric and family medicine that will greatly enhance the breadth of knowledge of the Task Force," says outgoing Task Force Chair Dr. Ned Calonge. "Combined with the skills, knowledge and experience of the rest of the membership, as well as the explicit methods and the review and input from other medical experts, the USPSTF has the full spectrum of expertise and tools needed to make recommendations to primary care clinicians on effective preventive services."


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