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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Public health agency names medical director
By Stephen Smith, Globe Staff
A researcher whose work has focused on children's health and healthcare disparities was today named medical director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Dr. Lauren Smith, a pediatrician by training, will oversee programs regarding early childhood health and also be part of the public health department's team monitoring the quality and cost effectiveness of healthcare reform in the state, according to agency spokeswoman Donna Rheaume. Smith will also lend her medical expertise to issues such as whether the state should allow walk-in clinics in drug stores.
Smith is an associate professor of pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine and medical director of the Medical-Legal Partnership for Children at Boston Medical Center, which unites doctors and lawyers to help families meet the basic needs of children. Smith's research has examined how social, economic, and demographic factors influence children's health.
For the past two years, Smith, who received her undergraduate degree from Harvard and her medical and public health degrees from the University of California, has spent the past two years as a health policy fellow in the office of House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi.
Smith's position is new. She will be paid $130,000 a year and will begin working part-time immediately and full-time in January.