Barbara A. DeBuono, M.D., M.P.H. is Executive Director, Public Health and Government, WW Global Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc. She is responsible for creating and managing public-private partnership programs in public health innovation, health policy, education, and research. These programs include supporting public health research in clear health communication; supporting education, career development and research in academic medical and public health environments through research grants and career development awards; and the publication of Advancing Healthy Populations, The Pfizer Career Guide in Public Health, The Faces of Public Health, Milestones in Public Health and Moments in Leadership: Case Studies in Public Health Policy and Practice.
Dr. DeBuono also provides strategic medical, public health, and policy input to Pfizer’s business units providing the state and federal government perspective to access and reimbursement issues. She leads Pfizer’s Clear Health Communication Initiative and serves as Chair of the Board of the Partnership for Clear Health Communication that she founded on Pfizer’s behalf. In 2005, Dr. DeBuono served as Senior Consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), assigned to their Southeast Asia Regional Office in New Delhi to review public health aspects of the Tsunami Relief and Recovery Operations. She worked with the WHO offices in the Maldives and Thailand.
Prior to joining Pfizer in 2000, Dr. DeBuono was Chief Executive, New York-Presbyterian Healthcare Network, and Executive Vice President of the New York Presbyterian Healthcare System. Previously, she served as Commissioner of Health for the State of New York, where she shaped a health care reform agenda that included developing the state’s comprehensive Medicaid Managed Care program promoting quality improvement and primary care access. Under her leadership, the hospital finance system in New York was deregulated through the elimination of the state’s rate setting system and she led New York’s implementation of the Child Health Insurance Program. She also oversaw the implementation of pediatric HIV legislation and restructuring of New York State’s AIDS Institute and its advisory board.
Dr. DeBuono has also served at the Rhode Island Department of Health as Director of Disease Control and State Epidemiologist, and was appointed Director of the Department in 1991. In Rhode Island, she established the nation’s first comprehensive Breast Cancer Screening and Quality Assurance program and authored comprehensive AIDS legislation.
Dr. DeBuono has served on many health policy boards, including the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control, the CDC Foundation Corporate Roundtable, the Center for Health Policy Development and the Partnership for Prevention. She is a member of the Medical Society of the State of New York, The American Public Health Association, the American Medical Association, and the American College of Physicians. She was named by Secretary of HHS Michael Leavitt to serve on the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Center for Health Marketing of the CDC. She has been published extensively in numerous peer-review journals, and was acknowledged in the Institute of Medicine’s 2004 report, Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion , for her input and assistance in its development.
In 2005, the CDC Foundation honored Dr. DeBuono as one of five Public Health Heroes nationwide. Also in 2005, she received the W.E. Upjohn Award from Pfizer, which acknowledges the achievements of those colleagues whose work and lives best reflect Pfizer’s core values—integrity, innovation, respect for people, customer focus, leadership, performance, teamwork, community and quality. In 2006, she was honored by the Women’s Venture Fund and received their Highest Leaf Award for women who have exhibited creativity, risk taking, and leadership in their careers. In 2007, Dr. DeBuono was honored by the National Organization of Italian American Women for her work in medicine and public health.
Dr. DeBuono received her B.A. from the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) and her medical degree from the University Of Rochester School Of Medicine. She received her Masters in Public Health from the Harvard University School of Public Health (Boston, MA).
A strong advocate for access to primary care for children and adults, Dr. DeBuono remains a champion of basic public health principles that call for the assurance of a safe and healthy environment for everyone. In her transition from the public to private sector, Dr. DeBuono has been able to bring her public health and health policy skills into the corporate setting where she serves as an expert and driver of public health and prevention initiatives within Pfizer.