Department of Health & Mental Hygiene News Release

Baltimore, MD (February 1, 2011) -- The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) is pleased to announce that its Director of the DHMH Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHHD), Carlessia A. Hussein, R.N., DR.P.H., has been appointed to Board President of the National Association of State Offices of Minority Health (NASOMH) effective January 12, 2011.

'The National Association is fortunate to have someone of Dr. Hussein caliber at its helm,' said DHMH Secretary Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein. 'She is a tireless champion for reducing unacceptable health disparities.'

According to the NASOMH announcement she will 'develop and implement innovative partnership, advocacy and communication strategies to build the capacity of the organization as a vehicle for transforming the health of racial and ethnic minority communities, tribal organizations and nations.'

Dr. Hussein has held senior staff positions with DHMH for 14 years. In her current role as Director of the OMHHD, she works to promote statewide actions to eliminate health disparities that includes assisting health department programs to increase their focus on health disparities; funding local groups to reduce cancer and tobacco-related health disparities; supporting minority infant mortality and minority cardiovascular disease reduction pilot projects; publishing health disparities data; collaborating with health professional institutions to increase minority matriculation; and recommending positions on state legislation that impact minorities.

She graduated from the Freedmen's Hospital School of Nursing in Washington D.C., and obtained a Public Health Doctorate at the University of California, School of Public Health at Berkeley. She has more than 30 years of professional health experience ranging from directing statewide health programs, developing community health worker outreach projects, serving as Assistant Dean at the University Of California School Of Public Health, serving as the Deputy Health Fire Chief in the Los Angeles County Fire District, directing health planning agencies in California and Washington, D.C., and providing direct nursing care in a variety of health care settings.

Dr. Hussein resides in Columbia, Howard County Maryland.

To learn more about OMHHD, please visit www.dhmh.md.gov/hd. For information about NASOMH visit www.nasomh.org