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Fitzgerald for CDC

Brenda Fitzgerald, the public health commissioner of Georgia, has been named to lead the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Stat News.

Fitzgerald, an obstetrician-gynecologist and two-time Republican congressional candidate, has practiced medicine for some 30 years, Stat News adds. She has run Georgia's public health department since 2011 and is the president-elect of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, a nonprofit group that represents US public health agencies, the Washington Post reports.

"Having known Dr. Fitzgerald for many years, I know that she has a deep appreciation and understanding of medicine, public health, policy, and leadership — all qualities that will prove vital as she leads the CDC in its work to protect America's health 24/7," Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price says in a statement announcing her appointment.

Fitzgerald is to replace Tom Frieden, who served as CDC director during the Obama administration and stepped down in January. "It's a good thing that she has experience running a public health agency," Friedan tells the Washington Post. "That's critically important to being successful at CDC."

Stat News adds that Fitzgerald has previously endorsed vaccinations, and the Post adds that she coordinated state resources during the West African Ebola outbreak when patients were airlifted to Emory University in Atlanta for treatment.