News Release

Monday, October 29, 2007

NCMHD Announces New Acting Director for Scientific Programs

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Nathaniel Stinson, Jr., Ph.D., M.D., has been appointed acting director, Office of Scientific Programs, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Chief among his responsibilities will be direct oversight of the NCMHD's Community Based Participatory Research Initiative and Loan Repayment Programs.

"I have worked closely with Dr. Stinson for almost 20 years," said John Ruffin, Ph.D., Director, NCMHD. "His vast experience in minority health and health disparities at the Department level as well as his commitment to the kind of translational research fostered by the NCMHD make him uniquely qualified to oversee some of our most important scientific programs."

"Health disparities remain one of the most pressing issues for the nation, and while the ultimate solution to eliminating health disparities is complex, there are several fundamental core actions that need to be taken," said Stinson. "From creating a diverse health professional workforce to enhancing the research infrastructure in academic and community-based organizations, the leadership of the NCMHD stands out like a beacon for others to follow. To be a part of such an effort will be quite rewarding."

Prior to joining the NCMHD, Stinson was president of The Health Literacy Foundation, Munster, Ind. Before that Stinson served as the director of the Center for Optimal Health and professor of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn.

Stinson began his federal career in Arizona as a medical officer with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps where he practiced family medicine at the Indian Health Service's Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility. Stinson quickly rose within the ranks of the U.S. Public Health Service and in 1999 was appointed as the acting deputy assistant secretary for minority health, HHS. One year later he was named HHS' deputy assistant secretary for health, serving as a senior advisor to the assistant secretary for health and the secretary, HHS.

Stinson earned his doctorate in environmental biology from the University of Colorado; doctor of medicine degree from the University of Colorado Medical School; and masters of public health degree in health services administration from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Stinson, a board-certified family practice specialist, has been honored throughout his career for his accomplishments. His recognitions include the Louis B. Stokes Leadership Award from the National Medical Association. U.S. Public Health Service awards include the Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Medal, Outstanding Service Medal, Crises Response Service Award and National Emergency Preparedness Service Ribbon.

The NCMHD ( is a component of the NIH. The NCMHD promotes minority health and leads, coordinates, supports and assesses the NIH effort to eliminate health disparities. The NCMHD programs focus on expanding the nation's ability to conduct research and to build a diverse culturally-competent research workforce to eliminate health disparities.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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