Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 25 June 2021 11.36 AM IST

‘Grateful and honoured', says Dr Atul Gawande on inclusion into Biden's Covid taskforce


WASHINGTON: Indian-American doctor Atul Gawande who has been included in US President-elect Joe Biden's newly announced transition coronavirus advisory board said he is grateful and honoured to be asked to serve and contribute to ending the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 55-year-old Boston-based surgeon, who known for his writings and books about the medical field, expressed confidence that the virus can be brought under control, and lives and livelihoods can be saved.

"I'm grateful and honoured to be asked to serve and to contribute to ending this pandemic. We have runaway spread right now. But I am confident we can get the virus under control, save lives and livelihoods, and bring people back together again," Dr Gawande tweeted.

A surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston he is also a professor at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health.

Gawande was a senior adviser in the US Department of Health and Human Services under former President Bill Clinton. Before joining medical school, Gawande had been a part of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign. He previously served as a senior advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton Administration.

In 2007, Dr Gawande led the World Health Organization's global effort to reduce surgical deaths.

Gawande is a staff writer for the The New Yorker and has authored four books, including "Being Mortal", which deals with the subject of end-of-life care.

In 2020, after two years as CEO, he was named chairman of Haven, a health-care venture focussed on improving health outcomes, patient experience, and costs of care.

Gawande's father Atmaram Gawande who was born in Maharashtra and his mother Sushila Gawande who hailed from Gujarat met in New York during medical school. They got married and moved to Athens in Ohio to practise as doctors.

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Ohio, Gawande went to Stanford where he studied biology and politics and later was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, where he earned his master's in philosophy, politics and economics in 1989.

His first book, Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science, was a finalist for the 2002 National Book Award

The Transition Covid-19 Advisory Board is co-chaired by former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler, former Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy and Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith, Yale associate professor of medicine and epidemiology.

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