September 26, 2012
Concord, NH – New Hampshire’s Public Health Director, Dr. José Montero has been elected president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). Dr. Montero was elected during the Association’s recent annual meeting held in Austin, Texas. This is a one-year position and takes effect immediately. Dr. Montero has been with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services since 1999.
“Dr. Montero shows great leadership in the work he does as Public Health Director of our State on behalf of its citizens,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “He is deeply committed to improving the public’s health in New Hampshire and I have no doubt he will bring that passion to the work he will do in the coming year with ASTHO. Our long-time partnership with ASTHO will be enhanced with Dr. Montero’s efforts to improve public health practice in New Hampshire and across the country.”
ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization that represents public health agencies in the US, the US territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. The chief health officials for each state, territory, and the District of Columbia make up the voting membership of ASTHO. Dr. Montero has been part of ASTHO since becoming NH’s Public Health Director in 2008.
“I have found the collaboration with public health experts around the country invaluable to the work we do here in New Hampshire,” said Dr. Montero. “I look forward to assisting ASTHO in carrying out its mission, of improving the health and wellness of Americans. I’m particularly looking forward to working on my presidential challenge, which mirrors our state efforts for better integration between public health and the health care system. As a nation we need to consistently integrate health care with the public health system to reach people in an effort to prevent illness and injury, rather than just treat it. We also need to develop the tools that will allow us to consistently measure the health indicators of all people.”
Dr. Montero began his medical career in Colombia, where he served as local, county and state health official. He then went to teach family and preventive medicine and later became Colombia’s public health director. Dr. Montero began his service in New Hampshire in 1999 as chief of the New Hampshire Communicable Disease Section in the Division of Public Health. Dr. Montero became State epidemiologist in 2005, before becoming director of the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services in 2008.