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Jan. 17, 2008

Columbia University Names Johns Hopkins Health and Aging Expert
Dr. Linda Fried as New Dean of Mailman School of Public Health

Renowned public health leader Dr. Allan Rosenfield
to step down after 22 years of service

Columbia University today named Linda Fried, M.D., M.P.H., as the next dean of the Mailman School of Public Health. University President Lee C. Bollinger and Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences Lee Goldman, M.D., M.P.H made the announcement. The appointment of Dr. Fried, who will succeed long-time Mailman School Dean Dr. Allan Rosenfield, is effective May 2008.

Linda Fried
Linda Fried

An admired leader in aging and health, Linda Fried comes to Columbia from Johns Hopkins University, where she has spent the last 25 years, starting as a fellow in general internal medicine in 1982. She has been dedicated to expanding health promotion and prevention for older adults, with emphasis on the causes of frailty and disability. She is currently professor of medicine, epidemiology, health policy and nursing at Johns Hopkins and director of The Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health, the Program in the Epidemiology of Aging at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology.

“Public health is an essential concern in our society, and in bridging so many disciplines, it is an endeavor that can create synergies in every corner of the University,” said President Bollinger. “Allan Rosenfield has made Columbia and the Mailman School both a local and global force in this important field. With someone of Linda Fried’s unique experience and accomplishments in public health and medicine as our new dean, Columbia will have an extraordinary leader who will build on this momentum in the years ahead.”

Dr. Fried will be a professor of epidemiology and head one of the four graduate schools at Columbia University Medical Center, which is led by Dr. Goldman. The others are the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing and the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as well as allied research centers and institutions.   

During his more than 20-year tenure as dean of the Mailman School of Public Health, Dr. Rosenfield became renowned for his contributions to the fields of reproductive and maternal and child health and the fight against infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS. He will remain on the faculty as a professor of public health and obstetrics and gynecology.

With more than $150 million in sponsored programs, the Mailman School is the second largest school at Columbia University and the fourth largest recipient of National Institutes of Health funds among all schools of public health.  The school’s students and more than 300 full-time faculty engage in research and service in the city, nation and around the world, bringing their considerable expertise to bear on today’s critical public health and health policy challenges. 

“As much of the world’s population begins to age, public health must evolve to meet an increasing emphasis on chronic diseases,” said Dr. Goldman. “With her strong history of bridging clinical medicine and public health, Linda Fried is the perfect person to build on the great strengths of the Mailman School, as led so impressively by Dr. Rosenfield, and take it into the next era as part of the extraordinary partnership among our four schools on the Columbia health sciences campus.”

Fried’s leadership in geriatric health will be of importance to the Mailman School’s academic and research initiatives. By 2030, approximately 71 million Americans will be age 65 or older—accounting for more than 20 percent of the projected total U.S. population and a substantial population transition worldwide. This shift in demographics will lead to significant changes in health policy, resource allocation and the planning of public health programs.

“I am truly excited to be joining Columbia University and to build on the phenomenal platform created by Dr. Rosenfield and the faculty at the Mailman School that so perfectly positions us to provide leadership on issues that are vital to our local communities in Upper Manhattan and to societies across the globe,” said Fried.  “Throughout my career, I have been committed to ensuring better health through interventions in both community and clinical practice. At the same time, ensuring diversity and inclusiveness has been a priority in my work, with a particular focus on gender equity and other underrepresented groups in public health.  I will remain committed to these values at Columbia.”

Fried is also co-designer of Experience Corps, a community-based senior volunteer program that serves public school children while promoting better health for the older volunteers by fostering increased physical, cognitive and social activity through intensive civic engagement in public elementary schools. Dr. Fried is leading a trial evaluating the impact of Experience Corps on children and older adults, as well as communities, in a partnership with Baltimore City and its school system, Commission on Aging, health department and local community organizations. She is a recipient of the Archstone Award from the American Public Health Association for this admired intergenerational service project, as well as many other awards.

A board-certified internist and geriatrician, Fried did her postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in geriatrics, general internal medicine and epidemiology (cardiovascular and aging). After attending the University of Wisconsin as an undergraduate, she received her M.D. from Rush Medical College and an M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. She was named a Kaiser Faculty Scholar in General Internal Medicine and is the recipient of a National Institute on Aging MERIT Award, as well as many other honors. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine. A native New Yorker, she is a graduate of Hunter College High School in Manhattan.