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Vol. LX, No. 1
January 11, 2008

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Former Director of Research Services Held Dies

Dr. Joe Held

Dr. Joe Held, former director of the Division of Research Services (DRS, now the Office of Research Services) at NIH and former assistant surgeon general and chief veterinary officer of the Public Health Service, died of an aortic aneurysm on Oct. 29.

He retired from NIH in 1984 to become director of the Pan American Zoonoses Center in Argentina, where he had served from 1967 to 1969 on a detail from PHS. He had worked in the PHS Commissioned Corps for 29 years—27 on active duty, rising to the rank of rear admiral.

“Joe Held was, put simply, the most remarkable man I have ever known,” said Dr. Robert Whitney, former DRS director who succeeded Held in the post and who knew him for more than 40 years.

“Joe’s leadership as the director of DRS was nothing short of phenomenal,” Whitney said. “The 500 or so people in [DRG] made up the most diverse workforce you could ever imagine: animal care technicians, glass washers, librarians, artists of all sorts, skilled craftspeople, engineers, distinguished scientists and, of course, a bunch of veterinarians—like me. Joe led by example. He also was a practitioner of the ‘walking around’ management method. Joe knew the name of every employee in the division and would greet them and chat with them at their work site—often to their surprise and almost always to their pleasure. He made the rounds from the several-hundred-acre NIH Animal Center near Poolesville to the large NIH Library, to the workshops of the skilled machinists and engineers building custom-design laboratory equipment deep in the bowels of the Clinical Center. His skills as a facilitator and negotiator were legend, and his memory, particularly of names—and I mean everybody’s name—was prodigious!”

Born in Los Angeles in 1931, Held received his B.S. and D.V.M. degrees from University of California, Davis, and an M.P.H. from Tulane University. He joined PHS in 1955 and was assigned to the Communicable Disease Center (now CDC) in Atlanta. He transferred to NIH’s Division of Research Facilities and Resources in 1962, before joining NIAID in 1964. He became DRS director in 1972, after heading the Veterinary Resources Branch for several years.

Even in retirement, Held kept his finger on the pulse of NIH. At the Clinical Center in recent years, he volunteered as a Spanish language translator, employing skills he had learned during his many years living in Argentina. From 1991-1993, he served as president of the NIH Alumni Association and was active in the organization until his death. In fact, he had gathered with other NIHAA presidents and members at the association’s final meeting 3 weeks before he died.

Survivors include his wife Carolyn; children Lisa Doseff, Bob Held, Leslie Barnett and Teresa Johnson; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Mattingly Named New Fire Chief

Jonathan Mattingly

Jonathan Mattingly has been named director (fire chief) of the Division of Fire and Rescue Services (DFRS). He served as the division’s assistant chief for the last 6 years.

Mattingly began his career at NIH as an entry level firefighter in 1992. He rose to the position of lieutenant in 1996. From 1996 to 2002, he worked as both fire/rescue lieutenant and special hazards lieutenant, learning all aspects of emergency response and support activities. In 2002, he filled the newly created position of assistant chief of safety/training. Since then he has worked to establish a firefighter safety and training program that sets the standard for other federal fire departments in the region.

Mattingly has 19 years of fire service experience. He began as a volunteer firefighter in Charles County. He is now a life member of the Cobb Island Volunteer Fire Department, where he previously served as an officer for 8 years, including 2 as chief. Currently, he represents the Charles County Volunteer Firemen’s Association as its special operations chief, heading up coordination of all confined-space, swift-water, rope and collapse rescue initiatives. Mattingly also spent time as a volunteer firefighter with Prince George’s County, serving as a lieutenant with the Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department.

In addition, Mattingly is a senior emergency services instructor for the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, University of Maryland. He has provided fire, rescue, hazardous materials, technical rescue and fire service management instruction to thousands of emergency responders throughout Maryland and the country since his start there in 1993. He has been instrumental in developing the Chief Officer Program and has trained numerous fire chiefs and chief officers in the region.

In his new position, Mattingly is responsible for the overall administrative and operational management of DFRS, which provides first-response capability to all fire, emergency medical, technical rescue and hazardous materials mitigation initiatives on campus.

Stinson Is New Acting Director for Scientific Programs, NCMHD

Dr. Nathaniel Stinson, Jr.

Former deputy assistant secretary for health Dr. Nathaniel Stinson, Jr., has been appointed acting director, Office of Scientific Programs, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Chief among his responsibilities will be oversight of NCMHD’s community- based participatory research initiative and loan repayment programs.

“I have worked closely with Dr. Stinson for almost 20 years,” said Dr. John Ruffin, NCMHD director. “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,” Stinson said. “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.”

Backinger Is New NCI Branch Chief

Dr. Nathaniel Stinson, Jr.

Dr. Cathy Backinger has been named chief of the Tobacco Control Research Branch (TCRB) of the Behavioral Research Program in NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS).

“Dr. Backinger has played a critical role in expanding our collaborations with both governmental and non-governmental organizations,” said Dr. Robert Croyle, DCCPS director. “Given that tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S., the NIH needs talented leaders like Cathy who understand the complex interface of science, practice and policy.”

Backinger joined NCI in 1998 as a health scientist with TCRB. She has served as a scientific program director for the development and implementation of extramural behavioral and public health research programs in prevention and cessation of tobacco use by youth.

Although tobacco use has declined over the past few decades, one in five adults and a similar proportion of high school students are smokers. Backinger has led efforts to coordinate NIH-supported research with health campaigns and programs to increase the use of science in national and local tobacco control efforts.

She recently testified before Congress concerning the misleading labeling of “light” and “low tar” cigarettes. In 2006, she served as program chair for the NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Tobacco Use: Prevention, Cessation and Control.

Prior to joining NCI, Backinger was director of the issues management staff in the Office of Surveillance and Biometrics, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration. She has also worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio department of health. While at CDC, Backinger worked on smokeless tobacco issues and developed and evaluated a smokeless tobacco prevention curriculum for Alaska Native schoolchildren.

She received a Ph.D. in health policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, an M.P.H. from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in health education from Ohio State University.

Sumner Honored by Association of Black Cardiologists

Dr. Keith C. Ferdinand of ABC presenting the award to Dr. Anne E. Sumner

Dr. Anne E. Sumner, a tenure-track investigator in NIDDK’s Clinical Endocrinology Branch, recently received the 2007 Dr. Herbert W. Nickens Epidemiology Award from the Association of Black Cardiologists. Initiated in 2001, the award honors outstanding achievement in epidemiologic research on cardiovascular diseases. Shown at right is Dr. Keith C. Ferdinand of ABC presenting the award to Sumner at the recent 12th Congress on the Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases, held in honor of Nickens, a pioneer in the promotion of medical education and health care. The award recognizes committed leaders and their contributions to projects that promote the elimination of disparities in cardiovascular care and outcomes while helping to advance the primary mission of the ABC—prevention and reduction of cardiovascular diseases.

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