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EMS Physician Named to Dept. of Homeland Security

GARZA-DA-373

Jon R. Krohmer, MD, (acting) assistant secretary for Health Affairs and chief medical officer:As the principle medical authority for the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of Health Affairs has played a critical role in pandemic preparedness. We are proud to support the Department's efforts.

I know that Dr. Garza, a practicing emergency physician, will lead this office well based on his experience in public health, military medicine and emergency medical services. As a seasoned first responder, soldier, physician and teacher Dr. Garza is a natural to lead OHA.

Dr. Garza is currently serving as a staff physician for the Level I trauma center at the Washington Hospital Center. He served as Associate Medical Director of Emergency Medical Services for the State of New Mexico and as the Director of Emergency Medical Services for the Kansas City Health Department. He has served in the military as a battalion surgeon, a Public Health Team Chief, and a special investigator and medical expert. He previously served as a paramedic in Missouri. Dr. Garza holds an MD from University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine and a Masters in Public Health from St. Louis University School of Public Health.

Please join me in spreading the good news about his confirmation.

Senate Confirms Dr. Alexander Garza for Dept. of Homeland Security

Secretary Janet Napolitano applauded President Obama's intent to nominate Dr. Alexander Garza this month as assistant secretary for Health Affairs and chief medical officer, saying Garza would bring extensive government and military public health experience to the office.

"Dr. Garza brings many years of experience as both a leader in the public health field and a practicing emergency physician to the Department s Office of Health Affairs," Napolitano said. "I look forward to working with him to prepare for and respond to all health threats -- from the H1N1 virus to biological weapons -- to ensure the safety of our nation."

As assistant secretary for Health Affairs and chief medical officer, Garza would lead DHS medical and health security matters, oversee the health aspects of contingency planning for all chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards, and lead a coordinated effort to ensure that DHS is prepared to respond to biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.

Garza is currently serving as a staff physician for the Level I trauma center at the Washington Hospital Center.

He previously worked as the director of military programs at the ER One Institute at the Washington Hospital Center, associate medical director of EMS for the state of New Mexico, and director of EMS for the Kansas City (Mo.) Health Department.

He served in the military as a battalion surgeon; public health team chief during Operation Flintlock in Dakar, Senegal; public health team chief during Operation Iraqi Freedom I; and as a special investigator and medical expert for Major General Raymond Odierno.

He also previously served as a paramedic, a flight paramedic and an EMT in Missouri.

Garza holds an MD degree from University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine and a masters in public health from St. Louis University School of Public Health.

Related Article

"EMS in DHS," May 2009 JEMS

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