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AHRQ Announces New Members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, today announced the appointment of three new members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Susan Curry, Ph.D., of Iowa City; Joy Melnikow, M.D., M.P.H., of Sacramento; and Wanda Nicholson, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., of Baltimore will join the Task Force this month.

The Task Force, which is sponsored by AHRQ, consists of 16 health care experts in the specialties of family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, geriatrics, preventive medicine, public health, behavioral medicine and nursing.

Dr. Curry is the dean of the College of Public Health and distinguished professor of health management and policy at the University of Iowa. She is currently vice chair of the American Legacy Foundation's board of directors and a member of the National Cancer Institute's board of scientific advisors. Dr. Curry's research focuses on disease prevention and behavioral risk factor modification with a primary focus on tobacco use. Dr. Curry's research in tobacco includes studies of motivation to quit smoking, randomized trials of promising smoking cessation and prevention interventions, evaluations of the use and cost effectiveness of tobacco cessation treatments under different health insurance plans and health care costs and utilization associated with tobacco cessation.

Dr. Melnikow is a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and associate director of the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research at the University of California Davis. She is currently a deputy editor of Medical Care, standing member of the health services organization and delivery study section at the National Institutes of Health, contributing member of the California Health Benefits Program Task Force for the University of California's Office of the President and associate medical director of Healthwise, Inc. Dr. Melnikow's research interests include cost-effectiveness analysis to assist clinical and public health policy formulation, cancer prevention in women, patient preferences and decision making, underserved populations and health disparities.

Dr. Nicholson, a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and a perinatal epidemiologist, is an associate professor in the departments of gynecology and obstetrics and population, family and reproductive health at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. She is currently a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' committee on health care for underserved women and of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's public health working group on preconception care and health care. Dr. Nicholson's research focuses on the epidemiology of chronic conditions in women, including gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes, obesity and the effect of depressive symptoms on health-related quality of life.

About the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care. The Task Force, which is supported by AHRQ, conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services. More information about the Task Force can be found on the AHRQ Web site at

SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
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