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DHS news release

July 17, 2007

Contact: Bonnie Widerburg, 971-673-1282
Program contact: Paul Cieslak, 971-673-1111

Oregon physician to serve on national immunization advisory panel

An Oregon physician has been appointed to the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a prestigious panel that advises the federal government on vaccine practices.

Paul Cieslak, M.D., joined the 15-member Committee July 1. ACIP is the only entity in the federal government that advises the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the most effective way to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases.

"Vaccines are among the best tools we have to prevent disease," said Cieslak. "The production of so many new vaccines in recent years is both exciting and challenging. I'm honored to be able to lend a public-health perspective to recommendations about how vaccines should be used."

Cieslak has managed the Communicable Disease Program in the Oregon Department of Human Services Public Health Division since 1995. Since 2000, he also has served as medical director for the DHS Immunization Program, where he helps decide how limited immunization funding can be spent most effectively in Oregon.

Cieslak is a clinical assistant professor at the Oregon Health & Science University, teaching infectious diseases and public health topics. Board certified in infectious diseases and internal medicine, he also provides patient care on a part-time basis at Portland-area hospitals.

"We are very pleased to see this recognition of Paul's skills and expertise," said Susan Allan, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., state public health director in the DHS Public Health Division. "We also are glad that, through Paul's participation, the experience and perspective from Oregon will help shape national immunization policy."

As a member of the ACIP, Cieslak will help develop written recommendations regarding vaccination of children and adults, including ages at which vaccines should be given, number of doses, time period between doses and precautions.

That process includes reviewing scientific literature on the safety and effectiveness of specific vaccines, assessing their cost effectiveness, and considering the feasibility of adding vaccines into existing programs.