Obama picks top advisor to head HIV/AIDS efforts -
Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP)
CNN__"Jeffrey Crowley brings the experience and expertise that will help our nation address the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis and help my administration develop policies that will serve Americans with disabilities," said Obama in a statement released by the White House. "In both of these key areas, we continue to face serious challenges and we must take bold steps to meet them. I look forward to Jeffrey?s leadership on these critical issues."|
Crowley, a fourteen year public health veteran who's worked to improve access to health and social services for people living with HIV/AIDS and those with physical and mental disabilities, will coordinate federal policies on HIV/AIDS and help guide the administration's development of disability policies.
The newly named director will also work on education initiatives to help reduce the number of HIV infections and coordinate with international institutions to combat the global issue.
Gay man appointed to Obama administration post
by Nick Cargo
The Obama administration has gained another openly gay member, the White House announced Thursday.
Jeffrey S. Crowley, MPH has been named Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy. Crowley is currently Senior Research Scholar at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute and Senior Scholar at Georgetown's O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. He also sits on the faculty of George Washington University's HIV/AIDS Institute. Among Crowley's previous posts is as Deputy Executive Director of the National Association of People with AIDS.
The Peace Corps alumnus has also worked as a volunteer teacher at the Nsongweni High School in Swaziland. His education includes a Master's degree in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Kalamazoo College.
"Jeffrey Crowley brings the experience and expertise that will help our nation address the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis and help my administration develop policies that will serve Americans with disabilities," the President said. "In both of these key areas, we continue to face serious challenges and we must take bold steps to meet them. I look forward to Jeffrey's leadership on these critical issues."
Crowley's areas of expertise include Medicare and Medicaid policy, including prescription drug policies, as informal advisor to the HIV Medicaid and Medicare Working Group and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. During his time at NAPWA, he helped usher in initiatives such as the National HIV Testing Day Campaign and the Ryan White National Youth Conference.
"The announcement of Jeffrey Crowley signals that HIV/AIDS issues will be an integral part of health care reform in the Obama Administration," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Throughout his campaign, President Obama called for the development of a bold national AIDS strategy. With Crowley's leadership, we look forward to working with the Office of National AIDS Policy in setting an aggressive agenda to combat HIV/AIDS in our country."
Crowley comes recommended by the LGBT Presidential Appointments Project.
Obama appoints gay man to head White House AIDS policy office
by Lisa Keen
Thursday Feb 26, 2009
President Obama today announced the appointment of an openly gay man with deep connections in the AIDS service community to head the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.
Jeffrey Crowley, a former officer at the National People With AIDS Association and a current research scholar at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, will head up the Obama administration?s efforts to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The position will also now be linked to efforts to help all people with disabilities -an expansion applauded by AIDS activists.
"It?s exactly the kind of integration that folks in HIV community have been talking about for a while," said Earnest Hopkins, federal policy official for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Hopkins said the choice of Crowley for the position is "really good news."
"He?s a good friend, he?s smart, he goes very deep, as far as his knowledge base," said Hopkins. "He?s been one of the external consultants to all the national AIDS folks who do AIDS work day to day. He?s really an expert. We can be pretty assured the administration is going to support something that is supporting the needs of people with HIV."
Crowley, a former Peace Corps worker, earned a master?s in public health from Johns Hopkins University and served as deputy executive director for programs at the National Association of People with AIDS. While at NAPWA, he helped with both the National HIV Testing Day campaign and the Ryan White National Youth Conference.
A spokesperson for the White House said Crowley starts work today.
In announcing Crowley?s appointment, the White House also made clear that, despite some confusion over a recent executive order, the Office of National AIDS Policy "is part of the Executive Office of the President?s Domestic Policy Council."
A Feb. 5 executive order indicated that the position of AIDS Policy Coordinator - the head of the Office of National AIDS Policy - was to be struck from the membership of the White House Domestic Policy Council.
Carl Schmid, director of federal affairs for The AIDS Institute, said he hopes Crowley will be able to get to work immediately on developing a national AIDS strategy - a strategy that Obama said would be a goal for his first year in office.
"We?ll hope he makes sure that gets off the ground, and we hope he?ll be able to make sure there are increases for HIV prevention and Ryan White in the president?s budget." The White House is releasing today a summary of its federal budget for FY 2010, but details are not expected until April.
Schmid said he hopes Crowley will also be able to advocate for directing some money from the stimulus package to go to HIV work. A specific earmark for some $400 million to go to HIV prevention efforts was lost after some Republicans claimed it amounted to spending millions of dollars on condoms.
Crowley to Direct Office of National AIDS Policy
By Rob Stein
President Obama has named a new director of the Office of National AIDS Policy -- Jeffrey Crowley, who is currently a senior research scholar at Georgetown University.
In addition to coordinating the federal government's efforts to battle HIV, Crowley will also help "guide the administration's development of disability policies," according to the White House statement announcing the appointment.
The Office of National AIDS Policy is supposed to coordinate the federal government's efforts to stem the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through education programs and help coordinate the care and treatment of people with HIV and AIDS.
The director also serves on the president's Domestic Policy Council.
"Jeffrey Crowley brings the experience and expertise that will help our nation address the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis and help my administration develop policies that will serve Americans with disabilities," Obama said. "In both of these key areas, we continue to face serious challenges and we must take bold steps to meet them. I look forward to Jeffrey's leadership on these critical issues."
Crowley has authored numerous reports and policy briefs, has testified before various congressional committees and the Institute of Medicine on several occasions, according to the White House statement. His primary areas of expertise are Medicaid policy, including Medicaid prescription drug policies; Medicare policy; and consumer education and training.
Crowley previously served as the deputy executive director for programs at the National Association of People with AIDS, where he was involved in a variety of efforts, including the National HIV Testing Day Campaign and the Ryan White National Youth Conference.
Although new treatments are allowing people infected with HIV to live longer, more than 1 million Americans are living with HIV and more than 56,000 get infected with the virus in the United States each year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New AIDS Czar Widely Praised by Advocates
February 26, 2009 - 12:15pm
Today, the Obama Administration announced the appointment of longtime HIV/AIDS health care advocate Jeff Crowley to head the long-vacant Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), which is charged with developing the National AIDS Strategy.
Crowley, M.P.H., is a Senior Research Scholar at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute and a Senior Scholar at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center.
"This is brilliant," was the reaction of David Munar, who chairs the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA), where Crowley worked from 1994-2000. "The Administration made a strategic choice about someone who knows health care above all else, so they got a two-fer: he is passionate about HIV, and he knows health care systems. This means the office will be relevant. He will champion us and our needs in the health care reform process."
Advocates note that ONAP had already gained relevance in the eyes of the Administration due to the AIDS community's work to secure $1.4 million for the development of the National AIDS Strategy (NAS) in the upcoming omnibus budget bill, which is poised go into effect on March 6 when the continuing resolution ends.
The Domestic Policy Council, where ONAP is based, had been eviscerated during the Bush years, and those who have spoken with Council staff have said that they are appreciative of the resources and are committed to the NAS process.
Advocates anticipate that the funding, which has to be obligated (committed to specific spending if not literally spent) by the end of the fiscal year on September 30, could pay for a six or seven staff members for ONAP.. It could also go towards the additional costs of establishing a cross-government/community panel, which is the structure that the Coalition for a National AIDS Strategy (of which I am a member) has recommended to develop and monitor the NAS.
"Clearly, health care will be a cornerstone of a successful NAS," noted Chris Collins, "Jeff's appointment is great news and I look forward to working with him to create a NAS that brings more accountability, coordination and an orientation to outcomes in our response to HIV in the United States."
Collins was one of the other candidates interviewed for the ONAP post. For the past week, those involved in Federal AIDS policy had heard that the appointment was imminent, and that a small number of people had been interviewed for the position, including Collins and Jesse Milan, chair of the board of Black AIDS Institute. But many advocates expressed surprise at Crowley's appointment, as there had been no buzz that he was a candidate or they had assumed he would be appointed at the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS).
The White House release cites Crowley's primary areas of expertise as "Medicaid policy, including Medicaid prescription drug policies; Medicare policy; and consumer education and training."
And indeed, those who have worked with him on these issues were clearly excited, even gushing, about the appointment, including Robert Greenwald, Director of the Treatment Access Expansion Project (TAEP).
"I think it's amazing," said Greenwald. "He is one of the most hardworking, diligent, non-ego-involved people I've ever worked with, just a good person. I can't even believe it. He's incredibly plugged into the community."
While Crowley helped to develop the National HIV Testing Day Campaign during his tenure at NAPWA, those who have worked closely with him in recent years do note that prevention is not his main area of expertise.
But Munar, calling Crowley an "instrumental team player," says he expects that, far from having a deaf ear towards prevention, Crowley recognizes its importance, will bring in those who know it well and will talk about it from a health care perspective, emphasizing a cost-savings paradigm that he believes will resonate well.