University of Pittsburgh Public Health Dean Appointed to State Tobacco Advisory Board
PITTSBURGH, September 20, 2001 — Bernard Goldstein, M.D., dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH), was among four Pennsylvania health experts named last week to the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Advisory Committee for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Dr. Goldstein's appointment was made by Health Secretary Robert S. Zimmerman, Jr., on behalf of Governor Tom Ridge. The committee will have nine members.
In June, Governor Ridge signed the historic tobacco-settlement legislation – the largest investment ever to improve the health of Pennsylvanians. The Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Advisory Committee was created as part of this settlement to counsel the Pennsylvania Department of Health in developing priorities for the prevention and cessation program.
“We have to take stronger action to keep Pennsylvanians – especially our children –- from using deadly tobacco products,” Secretary Zimmerman said. “The members I am appointing to the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Advisory Committee are public health leaders, and their expertise will be invaluable as we build a powerful program to help our citizens quit using tobacco products or to keep them from starting in the first place.”
Upon being appointed to the Advisory Committee, Dr. Goldstein said, "I welcome the opportunity to serve the Commonwealth as a member of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Advisory Committee. A major recent advance in the health of our nation has been the decline in smoking rates from roughly 43 percent to 25 percent; but the major preventable threat to the health of our nation is that one in four adults continue to smoke, and that many more young people continue to take up this harmful habit.”
Before becoming dean of the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh in January, Dr. Goldstein was director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Services Institute of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J. He also has served as assistant administrator for research and development at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and as chair of the Institute of Medicine's Committee on the Role of the Physician in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Dr. Goldstein is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and toxicology and has nearly 40 years of medical experience.
Twelve percent of the tobacco settlement, or more than $41 million this fiscal year, is earmarked for prevention and cessation activities designed to decrease smoking by teens and adults. This is a dramatic increase from the $2.2 million now spent in Pennsylvania, and places the Commonwealth among the top four states nationally in funding for tobacco prevention and cessation.
Seventy percent of funds ($29 million) will be used at the local level to address local tobacco-control needs. The remaining 30 percent ($12 million) of the funds will be directed by the Department of Health to statewide projects.
For more information on the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Advisory Committee, call the Department of Health’s toll-free help line, 1-877-PA HEALTH, or visit the department’s website through the PA PowerPort at http://www.state.pa.us, or directly at http://www.health.state.pa.us.
Established in 1948, the GSPH at the University of Pittsburgh is world-renowned for contributions that have influenced public health practices and medical care for millions of people. It is the only fully accredited school of public health in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is one of the top-ranked schools of public health in the United States. It is one of eight schools across the country to be designated a Public Health Training Center by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information about the GSPH, access the school’s website at http://www.publichealth.pitt.edu.