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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
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Thursday, September 6, 2007
Advocate joining state Department of Public Health
By Stephen Smith, Globe Staff
Making the shift from advocate to official policy maker, the executive director of the Massachusetts Public Health Association announced this week that he is leaving that group to become a senior adviser to Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach.
Geoffrey Wilkinson, who has led the association of state and local public-health officials for more than five years, said in an e-mail that he expects to be involved in helping the state Department of Public Health develop a regional system for public health. Now, the state has separate boards of health in its 351 cities and towns, with widely varying degrees of expertise. Since being named public health commissioner earlier this year by the administration of Governor Deval Patrick, Auerbach has made establishing more centralized regional networks a priority.
Wilkinson, who will earn $87,000 a year, said he will also be involved in strengthening the state's cadre of community health workers.