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Woodie Kessel, MD, MPH

Woodie Kessel, MD, MPH, is a policy leader and community pediatrician for over 30 years, is an advocate, educator, and researcher in public health, public policy, pediatrics, and maternal and child health.  Dr. Kessel has had a distinguished career in the U.S. Public Health Service serving as an Assistant Surgeon General and a senior program director for applied research, community-based programs, and professional education.  He was a senior advisor on public health, health policy, and child and family health matters to the White House, Cabinet Secretaries, Surgeon Generals, Health and Human Services officials spanning eight administrations. Dr. Kessel developed and led initiatives focused on reducing infant mortality, expanding health insurance for children, improving environmental health, preventing childhood overweight and obesity, conducting a longitudinal study of child health and development, reaching and engaging youth through innovative health education and communication, and breaking the cycle of violence and trauma among children witnessing domestic violence and terrorism.  He has partnered with numerous organizations including Sesame Workshop to improve healthy life styles to promote healthy children and healthy futures; the National Sleep Foundation to improve the quality and quantity of sleep for children; and the American Academy of Pediatrics to improve post graduate pediatric education, implement office-based research, assure Bright Futures, and Healthy Tomorrows for children and families in the community.


Kessel was awarded the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Excellence in Public Service Award, the US Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal and the US Surgeon General’s Medallion in recognition of  his multiple contributions to improve the health and well-being of America's children and families. Dr. Kessel was a RWJ Clinical Scholar, Ambulatory Pediatrics Fellow at the Children’s Hospital National Medical Center, and pediatric resident and primary care fellow in the Department of Pediatrics at Boston City Hospital. Kessel is currently visiting professor of maternal and child health at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health.  He is also Founder and President of e-maginative health systems solutions, a consulting firm helping children and families become healthier by making healthy and wise choices working with the Shaping America’s Youth Initiative, Action for Health Kids Partnership, and Cornell University’s Strang Cancer Prevention Center.