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Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health

Biography of Don Wright, M.D., M.P.H.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Don Wright became the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health on December 10, 2007.  Dr. Wright acts as an advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health on matters involving the nation's public health and science. His responsibilities include planning and execution of public health policy as it relates to disease prevention, health promotion, women's and minority health, the reduction of health disparities, the fight against HIV/AIDS, blood safety, and pandemic influenza planning. Dr. Wright also has broad management and policy responsibility for the HHS Office of Public Health and Science.

Prior to becoming the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Wright served as the Director of the Office of Occupational Medicine for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As a result of his leadership, OSHA now recognizes impairment with drug and alcohol as an avoidable workplace hazard and recommends the adoption of Drug Free Workplace Programs as part of a comprehensive occupational health and safety program. 

In response to the 9/11 terrorist attack and Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Wright organized and moderated  nationwide conferences focused on enhancing hospital emergency preparedness for  natural disasters, acts of terrorism and pandemic influenza. While at OSHA, Dr. Wright developed strong collaborative working relationships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Red Cross, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and the American Heart Association on issues related to health and safety. 

As a clinician, Dr. Wright dedicated himself to the prevention of injuries and illnesses.  During his 15 years in the private sector, Dr. Wright maintained an extensive clinical and consulting practice in Central Texas. 

Dr. Wright received his undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University and his medical degree from the University of Texas. Dr. Wright completed his family medicine residency training at Baylor College of Medicine.  In addition to his medical degree, Dr. Wright holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin.  He is board certified in both Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the American Academy of Family Physicians.