Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett P. Giroir, MD, a prominent critical care physician who has a long history of membership and involvement with the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), has been tapped to lead one of the most important missions in the government’s COVID-19 response.
On March 13, 2020, Dr. Giroir was named chief coordinator for the nation’s COVID-19 testing efforts after the U.S. was slow to ramp up testing, even as the virus began spreading in America. Having adequate testing in place is essential for understanding the extent of the pandemic and how to stop the spread.
Dr. Giroir has worked closely with CDC and FDA to coordinate numerous complex public health efforts in his time at HHS. “Coordinating testing efforts across the U.S. is a Herculean task, but everyone who knows him believes if anyone can fix this issue, it is Brett,” said former SCCM President, Jerry Zimmerman, MD, PhD, FCCM. “Having a critical care physician and researcher embedded in the COVID-19 Task Force will bring a unique understanding and first-hand appreciation of the needs of critical care professionals serving on the front lines of the pandemic who are working around-the-clock to save lives.”
SCCM member Dan Levin, MD, agrees. Dr. Levin served as teacher and attending physician for Dr. Giroir during his residency, later supervising Dr. Giroir as a fellow. “It was apparent when Brett was a resident, fellow, and junior faculty member that he was brilliant and a visionary with the ability to see the big picture, look into the future, and organize people and details in a way to get big projects initiated and completed,” noted Dr. Levin, who today serves as Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics and Emeritus Professor of Anesthesiology at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine.
A longtime SCCM member, Dr. Giroir was a plenary speaker at the 48th Critical Care Congress. His presentation, The Changing Continuum of Healthcare, focused on the patient journey of care before, during, and after hospitalization and how to identify and select high-value targets for improving care for critically ill patients. He also served as a member of the Pediatric Critical Care Medicine editorial board from 2004 to 2010.
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