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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Pakistani-American Dr Umar Shah to lead COVID-19 response in US

Pakistan born, Dr. Umair A Shah has been appointed secretary of health for the state of Washington in the United States to fight COVID-19

Pakistan born, Dr. Umair A Shah has been appointed secretary of health for the state of Washington in the United States to fight the second wave of coronavirus.

“Dr. Shah brings an unrivaled expertise, knowledge, and passion for public health,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee in a statement. “His leadership will help us lead Washington state through the next crucial phase of this pandemic. He is uniquely suited to continue our nation-leading response.”

Shah is currently working as the executive director and local health authority for Harris County Public Health. He is an immigrant from Pakistan and grew up in Ohio.

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“Equity is incorporated and considered in every decision as he leads organizations to ensure the health and safety of everyone,” added the governor.

Dr. Shah has expressed pleasure in being appointed as the secretary of health. “Without question, the number one priority for me is to work with the team to continue the fight against COVID-19 and help Washingtonians through these challenging times,” he said.

He hopes that his experience would help him serve productively at his new job.

“I am confident my experience in both will serve the state of Washington well now during these difficult times, and into the future.

“While I’m sad to leave Texas after so many years, all of us – my wife, our three kids, and our puppy (Koko) – are excited to move to the Pacific Northwest,” said Dr.Shah.

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Dr. Shah is graduated from Vanderbilt University and pursued a medical degree at the University of Toledo Health Science Center. He has managed 700 public health staff in the nation’s third-largest county with 4.7 million residents.

The Washington Governor is appreciative of his services in the health sector. “Dr. Shah comes into the position with extensive experience responding to public health crises. He has helped lead Harris County through novel H1N1, Ebola, Zika and now COVID-19 and has responded to a variety of hurricanes and other emergencies,” said the statement.

He has even worked with the World Health Organization and was deployed to Haiti and Kashmir during the devastating earthquake.

He has also served as the president of NACCHO, representing nearly 3000 public health departments across the nation. In 2019, he was honored with the Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health Work from the American Public Health Association in recognition of his services.