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Susan Blumenthal

Former Assistant Surgeon General & Health Expert
    Topics & Types
    HealthcareFemale Speakers

    An internationally recognized health expert and leader, Susan J. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A. served as U.S. Assistant Surgeon General, Rear Admiral, Senior Medical and E-Health Advisor in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where her work focused on a broad range of public health and science issues facing the Nation and world.  She has been a major force in bringing important public health issues including global health, disease and violence prevention, women's health and mental illness to scientific and public attention, helping to place them at the top of our nation's health care agenda. Admiral Blumenthal is currently the Public Health Editor at The Huffington Post.

    Admiral Blumenthal serves as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown School of Medicine and Tufts University Medical Center, as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Women's Studies at Brandeis University, as a Visiting Professor at Stanford University and recently was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University School of Government.  She has also served as Senior Advisor on Public Health to the White House Domestic Policy Council, as the top medical advisor to the Secretary, US Department of Agriculture, and as Associate Vice President for Health Affairs and a Visiting Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at George Washington University Medical Center.

    From 1993-1997, Dr. Blumenthal was appointed and served as the country's first ever Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women's Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in recognition of her pioneering leadership in women's health. In this position, she developed innovative national initiatives, provided oversight and coordinated a $4 billion dollar budget of research, services and education programs and activities across the agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services including NIH, CDC and the FDA ensuring that our national health programs targeted the unique needs of women.

    The Admiral served as an advisor to the White House on women's health and worked with governmental organizations, consumer and health care professional groups to advance women's health in the United States and internationally.  During this time, RADM Blumenthal also initiated a unique collaboration with the CIA, NASA and DOD called "From Missiles to Mammograms" that has transferred imaging technology used for military and space purposes to improve the early detection of breast cancer.  Additionally, Dr. Blumenthal was the Co-Chair and was responsible for the coordination and implementation of the National Action Plan for Breast Cancer, a Presidential initiative and public/private sector partnership with over 200 participants that catalyzed many new initiatives to accelerate progress in the fight against this disease.

    For the 12 years prior to this appointment, she directed and served as Branch Chief of major national research programs at the National Institutes of Health on behavioral medicine, disease prevention including nutrition, mental illness and suicide. During this period, Dr. Blumenthal was a leader in exposing the inequities in women's health research and in fostering new studies and initiatives on gender differences in health and disease.

    Admiral Blumenthal has chaired numerous governmental and professional organization committees and national and international conferences and Commissions. She served as Chair of the NIH's Health and Behavior Coordinating Committee and Chair of the Federal Coordinating Committees on Women's Health and the Environment, Imaging Technology, and Breast Cancer and was Director of the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center. She also participated as a member of the President's Interagency Council on Women and served as the United States representative to the World Health Organization's Global Commission on Women's Health.

    As a leading advocate and national spokesperson on health, Dr. Blumenthal has briefed Heads of State and Health Ministers, testified before Congress, and often appeared as a medical expert on national television and radio news programs. She has authored many scientific articles, edited books, and been the health columnist for U.S. News and World Report, Elle, and several other magazines.  She also served as Host and Medical Director for an award winning television series on health and has organized and chaired numerous health conferences and commissions. Dr. Blumenthal serves on the boards of organizations including Save the Children, the Academy of Achievement, the Meridian House, and Stanford University in Washington.  

    Admiral Blumenthal has received numerous awards from health care professional and consumer organizations including honorary doctorates as well as several of the highest medals of the United States Public Health Service for her outstanding scientific contributions and distinguished leadership in health.  Dr. Blumenthal has been named by the New York Times as one of the top twelve doctors in the women's health field, by the National Library of Medicine as one of the most important women physicians in the history of the United States, and by the Medical Herald as one of the most influential women in medicine. In 2010, Dr. Blumenthal was honored as a Rock Star of Science by GQ Magazine.   

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