(From left to right) Drs. Levine, Kirkpatrick, Leffler, Wolfe, Dean Page, and Dr. Carney. (Photo: David Seaver)
Mitchell Wolfe, M.D., M.P.H., chief medical officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a Class of 1995 Larner alum, returned to campus on December 13 for the first time since receiving his medical degree here 26 years ago. During his personal, non-CDC-related visit, he shared insights and learned about ongoing work in education and research at his medical alma mater.
After graduating from medical school, Wolfe entered a family medicine residency at the Community Hospital of Sonoma County, Calif., earned an M.P.H. degree from the University of California, Berkley, and completed the preventive medicine residency program with the California Department of Health Services. He joined the CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer with the National Center for Environmental Health, and went on to lead the Clinical Outcomes Team in the Behavioral and Clinical Surveillance Branch of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. He also directed CDC offices in Vietnam and Thailand, and the CDC Global AIDS Program Thailand/Asia Regional Office. Wolfe also served as Acting Director of the CDC Washington Office from 2017 to 2019. He retired from the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service in 2020 with the rank of Rear Admiral.
During his daylong visit at UVM, Wolfe met with President Suresh Garimella and with members of the University’s Translational Global Infectious Diseases Research Center. He also took part in sessions with the medical classes of 2024 and 2025. In the afternoon, he appeared as part of a special panel discussion, titled “Global Perspectives on Health,” in the College’s Sullivan Classroom (also livestreamed via Zoom to the Larner and College of Nursing and Health Sciences communities). Panelists also included Mark Levine, M.D., Vermont Commissioner of Health, Larner Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., Associate Dean for Public Health and Health Policy Jan Carney, M.D., M.P.H., Chair of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and UVM Vaccine Testing Center Director Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., and UVM Medical Center President and COO Stephen Leffler, M.D. The panel discussed the importance of public health and global health work, and the pathways to those career opportunities, as well as issue surrounding health equity and the planning and education needed for future pandemics.
Wolfe noted that his “career arc” was strongly influence by his experience as a UVM medical student. “I was really affected by the physicians I worked with, who demonstrated to me caring and dedication to helping,” Wolfe said.
View a video recording of the “Global Perspectives on Health” panel discussion.