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Carter Center Names Dean Sienko As New Vice President For Health Programs

By The Carter Center
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ATLANTA — Dean G. Sienko, M.D., M.S., has been appointed vice president for health programs at The Carter Center,effective June 2016.

Currently, Sienko is associate dean for prevention and public health at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. At The Carter Center, he will provide leadership for programs working to prevent or eliminate six tropical diseases in 18 nations, as well as efforts to improve mental health care in the United States and abroad. He replaces Dr. Donald Hopkins, who joined the Center in 1987, and remains as special advisor for Guinea worm eradication.

“Dr. Sienko brings a lifetime of experience in disease prevention and public health leadership to the Center’s efforts to fight preventable diseases in many of the world’s poorest nations,” said Carter Center CEO, Ambassador (ret.) Mary Ann Peters. “We look forward to his contributions as the Center completes the challenge of eradicating Guinea worm worldwide and eliminating river blindness from the Americas in the coming years.”

Founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in 1982, The Carter Center is a leader in the eradication and elimination of diseases. The Center assists nations in preventing Guinea worm, river blindness, trachoma, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, and malaria by using health education and simple, low-cost methods. It leads the international coalition working to eradicate Guinea worm disease, reducing cases from an estimated 3.5 million in 21 nations in 1986 to only 22 in four nations in 2015.

As associate dean, Sienko has directed the Division of Public Health and the college’s Institute for Health Policy, which work to improve health care for Michigan residents.

In his early career, Sienko interned at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, trained as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and completed a preventive medicine residency there, and was a medical epidemiologist at the Michigan Department of Public Health. In 1989, he joined the Ingham County Health Department, serving for nearly 23 years as medical director and simultaneously as director the last five years.

Sienko recently completed a distinguished 33-year career as a U.S. Army officer, retiring in January 2015, at the rank of major general. His last assignment in the Army was as the commanding general of the Army Public Health Command, a 3,500-person organization that provides technical support and expertise in preventive medicine, public health, health promotion, and wellness to military units around the globe.

Sienko earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College, a master’s degree in clinical research design and statistical analysis from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and a doctorate in medicine from the University of Wisconsin.