Jan 27, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Richard E. Besser, MD, who formerly directed terrorism preparedness and emergency response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was named last week as the agency’s acting director.Besser replaces Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, who had led the agency since July 2002 and stepped down as President Barack Obama took office last week.Besser took the helm of the agency Jan 22, according to a brief notice on the CDC Web site. He had been director of the CDC Coordinatng Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response since August 29, 2005, according to Glen Nowak, CDC media relations director.”He started 2 hours before Hurricane Katrina hit,” Nowak said.Nowak said Besser was appointed acting CDC director by Charles Johnson, acting secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Former Sen. Tom Daschle has been nominated as HHS secretary but has not yet been confirmed.A pediatrician by training, Besser, 49, started his CDC career in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) in 1991, working on foodborne diseases, Nowak said.Besser served as an associate professor of pediatrics and director of the pediatrics residency program at the University of California, San Diego, from 1993 to 1998, according to the 2000 EIS directory.He later returned to the CDC and served as epidemiology section chief in the Respiratory Diseases Branch, acting chief of the Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch in the National Center for Infectious Diseases, and as medical director of a CDC campaign to promote appropriate antibiotic use in the community.He received a bachelor’s degree in economics at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., and earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a residency and chief residency in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, the CDC said.Besser has authored and co-authored more than 100 presentations, abstracts, book chapters, editorials, and other publications and has received many awards for his work in public health and his volunteer service, according to the CDC.Gerberding had led the CDC since Jul 3, 2002, when she was appointed by then-HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. Previously she had served as part of a four-member CDC interim leadership team, which had functioned for about 3 months following the resignation of former CDC Director Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan in March 2002.Gerberding’s CDC leadership began less than a year after the anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001 put bioterrorism high on the CDC’s agenda. Some major events during her tenure included increased federal spending for state and local public health preparedness, the campaign to vaccinate many frontline health workers against smallpox in 2003, the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and monkeypox outbreaks of the same year, a major CDC reorganization launched in 2004, and a growing focus on pandemic influenza preparedness in response to the spread of H5N1 avian influenza starting in 2004.See also: May 14, 2004, CIDRAP News story on CDC reorganizationhttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/bioprep/news/may1404cdc.htmlJul 3, 2002, CIDRAP News story on appointment of Julie Gerberdinghttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/bioprep/news/gerberding.html
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola never played under Marcelo Bielsa but credits the Leeds United coach as one of the most important influences on his own trophy-laden managerial career.Experienced Argentine Bielsa will be managing in the Premier League for the first time next season, having steered Leeds back to the top flight after a 16-year absence.And Guardiola, for one, says England’s Premier League will be all the better for it. “He has done an exceptional job. They were exceptional last season and then didn’t get promoted. They showed a lot of character to get promoted a year later and have been consistent,” Guardiola told a news conference ahead of City’s trip to relegation-threatened Watford on Tuesday.“I was not his player, so it is difficult to talk about him. But I know the reference from a hundred million players who were with him. I was lucky enough to have the chance to talk to him. He is unique in world football because of the special way he plays. He is an authentic manager. “No other manager in the world plays the way he plays. I learnt a lot about his style, his final product. He is an incredible person. He is so special.”Former Argentina national team coach Bielsa’s managerial honours cannot compare with Guardiola’s multiple titles with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. But for Guardiola there is more to being a great manager than picking up silverware.The Spaniard says he rates Bielsa “at the top” and it does not matter that he has not got a glittering CV.“Winning titles helps (you) to have a job next season but at the end of your life what you remember is not the titles you have won, it is the memories you have and whether the manager taught you a lot,” Guardiola said.“What we remember are the experiences and the memories, the players you have had, the managers you have had. Marcelo is at the top of the list. Absolutely at the top of the list.” Guardiola also shared his thoughts on another manager, Nigel Pearson, who was sacked by Watford on Sunday despite leading them to the cusp of safety having been hired in December on a short-term deal with the club bottom of the table. “Before lockdown what Nigel did was incredible,” Guardiola said. “They got a lot of points with the results they got when they were on the bottom. After that, I don’t know what happened.” Watford are three points above the drop zone with two gaames remaining and visit Arsenal on the final day after hosting City.
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