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Thomas Tsai, MD, MPH, appointed to White House COVID-19 Response Team

Thomas Tsai, MD, MPH, a minimally invasive gastrointestinal and bariatric surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, has been selected by the White House to serve as senior policy advisor for the COVID-19 Response. He will report to Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, who began serving as the White House COVID-19 response coordinator in April.

Dr. Tsai will be taking a sabbatical to serve on the White House COVID-19 Response Team, where he will help coordinate the national testing and treatment response in a collaborative effort across federal agencies. One hallmark effort will be continued expansion of the Test to Treat initiative, a national system of sites where people can receive COVID-19 testing and, if they are positive and treatments are appropriate, immediately obtain a prescription for an oral antiviral medication. Patients will receive all services at no charge through this program, which is focused on reaching high-risk, underserved populations. A superb example of the nimble, equity-driven approach that’s needed to curb the continued spread of COVID-19 on a national scale, Test to Treat will address some of the barriers to treatment through an integrated, “one-stop” approach.

“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve on the White House COVID-19 response team. In this current stage of the pandemic, we fortunately have the tools in our toolbox with high-quality masks, ventilation strategies, vaccines and therapeutics to achieve our goals of both health and health equity. I am grateful for the support of the BWH and BWFH communities and aim to bring the front-line clinician’s perspective to the work of implementing the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan,” says Dr. Tsai.

His new appointment marks a return to public service for Dr. Tsai, as he served previously as a senior advisor to the assistant secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama-Biden Administration.

Congratulations Dr. Tsai!

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