Anne Zink, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Alaska Department of Health, Announced as ASTHO’s 80th President

Zink plans to focus presidency on IT integration and improving the connection between healthcare and public health

September 13, 2022

Anne Zink, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Alaska Department of HealthARLINGTON, VA—The Association of State and Territorial Officials (ASTHO) announced today that Anne Zink, MD, will now serve as president for the association. Zink also holds the position of chief medical officer for the Alaska Department of Health (ADOH). She takes the reins from Nirav D. Shah, MD, JD, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, who has held the position since January 2021. Zink is the 80th president on the organization’s 80th anniversary year.

Zink plans to focus her presidency on improving health information systems to empower the public, healthcare providers, and the public health workforce with the tools and information they need to promote individual and population health.

“First and foremost, I am dedicated to the health of the people we serve,” says ASTHO President Anne Zink, MD. “It is a tremendous honor to lead as ASTHO’s president and promote their mission of advancing the public’s health and well-being though the collaboration of our members, staff, the public, and policy makers not only during public health emergencies, but every day. As a practicing emergency medicine physician who had the honor of serving our state through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear we must do everything to ensure our systems put the people we serve at the center of all our work, and our tremendous public health and healthcare workforces deserve the basic tools, data, and funding to do the jobs they have been called to do.”

Dr. Zink's 16 years of experience in emergency medicine made her acutely aware of the consequences public policy has on the health of the individual, which motivated her to embrace the opportunity to work in public health. Prior to her role at ADOH, she worked at the Mat -Su Regional Medical Center, where she served as the emergency department medical director (2010-2018) and on the Board of Trustees (2012-2018). In addition, she helped create the High -Utilizer Mat -Su (HUMS) program, which aims to improve patient health and cost savings for some of the state's most vulnerable patients.

She led state and federal policy changes, including work on information sharing, addressing the opioid epidemic, addressing workplace violence, and mental healthcare. In her time as Alaska’s chief medical officer, she has been recognized locally and nationally as a collaborative leader for her partnership with Alaska’s federally recognized tribes, industry partners, schools, municipalities, and healthcare.

“Dr. Zink has been a wonderful resource to ASTHO and its members and partners in her role as ASTHO’s president-elect and we look forward to her term as president,” says Michael Fraser, PhD, ASTHO CEO. “She has been an incredible leader in Alaska throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She impresses all of us with her optimistic outlook and calm demeanor in crisis situations. Her background as an emergency physician will serve her well, especially as we head into fall flu season and we continue to navigate COVID-19 and monkeypox.”

Dr. Zink grew up in Denver, received her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine after being a Watson Fellow and completed her residency at the University of Utah. She first fell in love with Alaska while instructing for the National Outdoor Leadership School where mornings start with a run in the mountains and evenings end among the northern nights. She stayed because of the people and medicine, where collaboration comes first and the connection between physical, mental, and environmental health are an integral part of all health work.

Other newly elected ASTHO leaders include Steven J. Stack, MD, MBA, president-elect and Scott Harris, MD, MPH, secretary-treasurer.

Learn more about Dr. Zink in a new Q&A blog post.

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ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and Freely Associated States, and Washington, D.C., as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.