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DHS news release

December 29, 2004


Contact: Bonnie Widerburg (503) 731-4180


Technical contact: Gary Weeks (503) 945-5944


Virginia administrator, physician named to lead DHS public health programs

The administrator of a large public health agency in Virginia has been named to head public health services in the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS).


She is Susan Allan, M.D., a physician, attorney and experienced administrator whom DHS Director Gary Weeks named Tuesday. Allan, who directs public health services for the Arlington County, Va., Department of Human Services, will begin as DHS' public health director in early March.


Allan, a native of Washington state, has worked for the Virginia agency for the past 20 years. She is responsible for 220 employees and an annual budget of $15.5 million. Arlington County has a population of 200,000.


"Doctor Allan's work experience and education have prepared her well for this job," Weeks said. "Her extensive experience with a county is a real advantage because a large part of her work here will be providing leadership to county health departments and responding to their concerns."


Allan was public health physician and medical supervisor in the Arlington department prior to becoming public health director in 1987. She also served concurrently as interim director of behavioral health services for two years. She has been active nationally in public health issues, serving on a number of boards and committees that reflect local, national, international and academic interests.


DHS' public health director oversees the state's public health programs, works with county health administrators, and ensures delivery of consistent and high-quality public health services across Oregon. Among DHS' public-health programs are maternal and child health, disease and injury prevention, drinking-water monitoring, hospital licensing, emergency medical services regulation, public health laboratory services, and vital records.


Allan holds doctoral degrees in law and medicine from Harvard University, a master's degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, and a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from Seattle University. She is board certified in public health and general preventive medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine.