A Tribute to Dr. Kristine Gebbie

Dr. Kristine Gebbie served on the inaugural editorial board of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, contributing and tirelessly reviewing articles.

Those of us at the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice (JPHMP) mourn the passing of Kristine Gebbie, DrPH, RN, recognizing her as an exceptional public health advocate, leader, and policy expert. Most important was her support and constant encouragement of her colleagues in the work that we do. She died on May 17th in Adelaide, Australia. She and I both joined the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) at the same time in 1978 when she was SHO for Oregon and then later for Washington State. As president of ASTHO, she was a forceful leader and pioneered AIDS activities with CDC. Dr. Gebbie, a nurse, was recruited by President Bill Clinton in June 1993 as the first AIDS Policy Coordinator to fulfill his campaign promise that he would make this disease a public health priority. When JPHMP was founded in 1995, she was on our inaugural editorial board, contributing articles and serving as a tireless reviewer. After her governmental work, she made important contributions to public health systems research, workforce analysis, and preparedness at Columbia University. She produced the Enumeration2000, and a suite of emergency preparedness competencies and associated trainings. With Jackie Merrill, she trained New York City Public Health nurses in the emergency response running of shelters just 3 weeks before 9/11. She ran the Columbia University Center for Health Policy and was very active in the first CDC-funded Center for Public Health Preparedness at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. While at Columbia, she was involved in research and advocacy in support of the public health workforce, including documenting and comparing legal authority, advising the Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics on occupational codes, and certification for public health workers and organizations. Public health was a family business for Kristine Gebbie. She met her husband Les Wright, who sadly passed away in April, when he was a State Health Official. Les was also a longstanding member of our editorial board. Her son, Eric Gebbie, DrPH, worked with her in New York in public health preparedness and now directs that effort for Oregon.

Author Profile

Lloyd F. Novick
Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Public Health at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University. Previously, he was chair of this Department. He has served as the Commissioner of Health and Secretary for Human Services of Vermont, Director of Health Services for Arizona, and Director of the Office of Public Health for New York State. Previous academic positions include Professor and Director of the Preventive Medicine Program for SUNY Upstate Medical University, Professor and Chair of Epidemiology at the University of Albany School of Public Health, and Clinical Professor and Director of the Teaching Program in Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine.