The American Society of Hematology (ASH) honored Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for his outstanding support of hematology research and patient care. At the all-virtual annual meeting, Admiral Giroir received the 2020 ASH Outstanding Service Award, an honor recognizing effective leadership behind the scenes in areas relevant to the Society’s mission.
Admiral Brett Giroir, MD
Stephanie Lee, MD, MPH
“ASH is pleased to honor Admiral Giroir, a champion for hematology in our government who has advanced research and practice issues critical to our members and their patients,” said ASH President Stephanie Lee, MD, MPH, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “Admiral Giroir has been a trusted partner and advocate, bringing much-needed attention to sickle cell disease and ensuring that progress in conquering this disease in the United States and across the globe is a top priority for the federal government.”
Admiral Giroir, a pediatric critical care specialist and physician-scientist, was sworn in as the 16th Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS in 2018. In this role, he leads development of HHS-wide public health policy recommendations and oversees several of the department’s core public health offices, including the Office of the Surgeon General.
A Focus on Sickle Cell Disease
Although his office leads many critical national initiatives, Admiral Giroir has made sickle cell disease a top priority at HHS, reengaging and expanding the activity of HHS’s Interagency Working Group on sickle cell disease. Under his leadership, HHS’s Office of Minority Health commissioned the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to develop a strategic plan and blueprint for addressing sickle cell disease in the United States, which was released in September 2020.
Admiral Giroir established the Global Coalition to End Sickle Cell Disease with key global partners including ASH, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization. He has devoted himself to such ASH initiatives as the Sickle Cell Disease Coalition, which was founded by ASH, and a U.S. Food and Drug Administration–ASH Sickle Cell Disease Clinical Endpoints Workshop. Admiral Giroir has also supported the Consortium on Newborn Screening in Africa, a Sickle Cell Disease newborn screening and early intervention consortium convened by ASH.