Commissioner Daines Announces New Environmental Health Chief

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 8, 2008) – State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., today announced that he has appointed Howard Freed, M.D. to serve as Director of the New York State Department of Health's Center for Environmental Health.

Dr. Freed will begin his new position on Sept. 2.

"Dr. Freed's vast clinical experience as well as his outstanding preventive and environmental health research will be an asset to the Center for Environmental Health," Commissioner Daines said.

The Center for Environmental Health applies scientific, medical, engineering and public health expertise to identify, understand, prevent and mitigate the risks to human health from New York State's living and working environments.

As Director, Dr. Freed will provide overall executive direction for the Department's environmental health programs. He will work closely with regional office staff, county health departments and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

He replaces Nancy K. Kim, Ph.D., who has served as Interim Director since the retirement of Ronald Tramontano in 2007. "I want to thank Dr. Kim for her work as Interim Director," Commissioner Daines said. "She led many new activities in the Center for Environmental Health, including serving as Chair of the Governor's Hinckley Reservoir Working Group." Dr. Kim will stay on to aid in the transition.

Dr. Freed is currently an attending physician at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also holds faculty appointments as Professor of Medicine at Howard University School of Medicine and Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Freed is also a member of the Public Health/Preventative Medicine Block Grant Advisory Council.

From 1996-2001, Dr. Freed served as the Director of the Emergency Care Center and Chairman of the Department of Emergency Management at D.C. General Hospital in Washington, D.C. Prior to this position, Dr. Freed was the Director of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program for Albany Medical College in Albany, N.Y.

From 1990-96, Dr. Freed was a member of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Pesticide Management Advisory Council, and before that he chaired the New York State Environmental Planning Lobby/Environmental Advocates Environmental Health Committee.

Dr. Freed's environmental health research into ways to decrease population exposure to ionizing radiation has led to a number of medical journal publications, including The New England Journal of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Freed was the lead editor of two editions of the book Case Studies in Emergency Medicine and the author of textbook chapters on child accidents and emergency room management.

Dr. Freed received his B.A. from Brandeis University and his M.D. from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. After his residency at the Philadelphia General Hospital, Dr. Freed completed additional training as a post-doctoral scholar at San Francisco General Hospital.