National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Selects William Schaffner as New Medical Director


The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) has appointed William Schaffner, MD, as its new medical director.  Schaffner will continue to serve as professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. From 2010 to 2012, Schaffner served as president of NFID. In his new role, he will succeed Susan J. Rehm, MD, who has served as NFID medical director since 2004.

As medical director, Schaffner will help to advance NFID’s mission with a focus on education and increased awareness among both healthcare professionals and the public about the causes, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases across the lifespan. His medical and scientific expertise will be critical to the development of new NFID programs, including continuing education and public outreach. In his new position, Schaffner will help to strengthen partner collaborations and will continue to serve as NFID medical spokesperson, a role he has shared since he first joined the NFID Board of Directors in 2001. He will also continue to represent NFID as liaison to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

“We are delighted that Dr. Schaffner has agreed to formalize his role with NFID,” says Marla Dalton, CAE, NFID's executive director. “He has been instrumental in educating both the public and healthcare professionals about vaccine-preventable diseases and other important infectious disease issues.”

Schaffner’s work has focused on all aspects of infectious diseases, including epidemiology, infection control and immunization. He has worked extensively on the effective use of vaccines across the lifespan. He is a strong proponent of collaboration between academic medical centers and public health institutions.

He has received many awards for his work, including several that recognized his advocacy and ability to translate science and research advances into passionate messages that help people of all ages understand the importance of public health and prevention. He is the recipient of the 2013 NFID John P. Utz Leadership Award. He was also honored as the 2014 Jeryl Lynn Hilleman Lecturer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Immunization Conference. In 2009, he received the James D. Bruce Award from the American College of Physicians for “distinguished contributions to preventive medicine.”

“During her time as medical director, Dr. Rehm has taken the organization to a new level,” says Schaffner. “I look forward to working with the NFID staff, our board and our many partner organizations to continue to advance our mission and expand our reach.”

Schaffner is professor of preventive medicine in the Department of Health Policy and professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. He also serves as a hospital epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University Hospital. He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the Infectious Diseases Society of America, American College of Physicians, Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America and the American Public Health Association. He is also a prolific writer, having authored more than 400 scientific articles and textbook chapters. Additionally, he consults on public health and communicable disease control for numerous institutions, including CDC, and serves on the editorial board of several scientific journals, including Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vaccine and the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). He is a featured blog author for The Huffington Post and Infectious Disease News.

Source: National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)

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