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New health director named for Louisville

Begins April 19

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 30, 2016) — Dr. Joann Schulte has been named Louisville’s new director of health. Schulte, who comes to Louisville from Dallas, where she served as a Medical Toxicology Fellow at the North Texas Poison Control Center at Parkland Memorial Hospital, is a seasoned public health professional with extensive experience in epidemiology, toxicology and health communication. Her first day as health director will be April 19.

Dr. Joann Schulte
Dr. Joann Schulte

“Dr. Schulte brings a wealth of public health experience gained at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and in such urban centers as Dallas and Atlanta,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “She is well-qualified to build on the progress we have made toward making Louisville a much healthier city.”

Prior to her post in Dallas, Schulte was an Editorial Fellow with the New England Journal of Medicine. Much of her public health career has been spent as a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

During her time at the CDC, she investigated more than 100 disease outbreaks, and worked in vaccine-preventable diseases, immunizations, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis. At the NIH, Schulte was the medical epidemiologist on a Phase III trial to evaluate the efficacy of genital herpes vaccine in women.

Schulte also has served as the chief of epidemiology for HIV/AIDS for the Texas Department of State Health Services and as acting state epidemiologist for the Florida Department of Health, and chief of its outbreak investigation unit. There she was recognized for her work on public health issues related to eight hurricanes that struck the state in a two-year period.

Before attending medical school, Schulte was the medical reporter for the Dallas Morning News. She currently serves on the editorial board of Pediatrics, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and is an assistant editor for the Southern Medical Journal.

She holds a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and a Masters of Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta.

“I am tremendously happy to have the opportunity to serve in Louisville,” said Dr. Schulte. “This position represents the culmination of my public health experience. I hope to bring all that I have learned to build on the progress of my predecessors and significantly improve the overall health of Louisville.”

She also will have a faculty appointment at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health. Louisville Metro Government and the university will split Schulte’s $180,000 annual salary and benefits equally.