Christine Gabby, the first U.S. AIDS czar, died at the age of 78

Christine Gabby, a health policy expert who served as the country’s first AIDS jar in the early 1990s, died on May 17 in Adelaide, Australia. He was 78 years old.

The cause was cancer, said his daughter Eileen Gabby.

After serving as chief health officer for the states of Oregon and Washington and as a member of two national panels formed by President Ronald Reagan to tackle the emerging AIDS epidemic, Dr. Gabby, a nurse, was appointed by President Bill. In June 1993, Clinton fulfilled her campaign promise to make the disease a public health priority.

He named his national AIDS policy coordinator to formulate prevention strategies, to provide resources for states and communities to set up their own programs, and to coordinate the efforts of federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, public health services, and national institutes. Health.

Several other prominent candidates had already turned down the job and Dr. Gabby accepted it without any illusions. As a result of this appointment, he was made a member of the President’s Domestic Policy Council.

In 1993, he told the Los Angeles Times, “It leads you to almost every complex human question you have to deal with.” “What is the meaning of human sexuality? What is the point of balance between the rights and responsibilities of an individual and the rights and responsibilities of a community? What is our responsibility towards human beings towards the end of life?

He advocated the provision of clean needles to drug addicts, distribution of condoms to sexually active adolescents, and even the inclusion of AIDS education in health curricula for young children. Many conservatives opposed the position, citing earlier criticism of the Reagan administration’s proposal for a regular examination of applicants for marriage licenses, federal prisoners and some other groups.

“You don’t talk to them about safe sex,” said Dr. Gabby, “but you teach them things like taking care of their bodies, and viruses can mess it up.”

Dr. Gabi’s surveillance led to increased federal spending on AIDS, and his appointment was announced at the Rose Garden event, but he did not work from the White House; His office was in a building across the street from a McDonald’s.

“My guess is,” he told the New York Times in 1993, “my choice makes it clear that it’s not someone who spends all their time outside of stimulating people, but someone who is willing to spend one. It’s a lot of time at work.” .

“It’s very clear how many people really expected miracles,” he added. “When I give the right answer to what I know, I know I sound like a bureaucratic stick: ‘This woman is not worth two bits to us; He spoke of coordination and cooperation. Blah! ‘

“But part of my mission,” Dr. Gabby continued, “is to help people live up to their expectations.”

Several AIDS activists demanded his transfer, and he did not stay in the job for long; He resigned in July 1994 after 13 months.

During Dr. Gabby’s tenure, President Clinton said in a statement that the federal government had “increased funding and other resources for prevention and research, accelerated the research and approval process for new drugs, and that every federal employee should receive extensive workplace education.” “To give a lift to this vitally important battle when one was in dire need and for a long time.”

Christine Elizabeth Moore was born on June 26, 1943, in Sussex City, Iowa, to Thomas Moore and Irene (Stuart) Moore, an Army veteran who worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

He moved from Panama to the Philippines to New Mexico because his father had re-enlisted in the military; He was raised for some time by his grandparents in Miles City, Monte. She entered nursing inspired by an aunt, Susie Stewart, and worked as a nurse assistant in high school.

She received her bachelor of science degree in nursing from St. Olaf’s College, Minnesota in 1965, her master’s degree in community mental health from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1968, and her doctorate in public health from the University of Michigan in 1995. .

He served as Oregon State Health Administrator from 1978 to 1989 and as Washington State Health Secretary from 1989 to 1993.

As an epidemiologist and emergency preparedness authority, he was a member of the AIDS Task Force for the American Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and was later listed by Reagan’s White House AIDS Commission, although he was critical of the Reagan administration’s response. As the epidemic is inadequate.

She was a professor of nursing at Columbia University School of Nursing and director of the Columbia Center for Health Policy from 1994 to 2000. She was dean of the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing from 2008 to 2010

She taught at the Terence Resilience Initiative at Flinders University in Australia and at the University of Adelaide Nursing School, where she left with her husband, Lester Niels Wright, a physician, and where they both retired. Dr. Wright died last month.

Her first marriage to Neil Gabby ended in divorce. In addition to his daughter Eileen, he is survived by his first married children, Anna, Sharon and Eric Gabby; His stepchildren, Jason and Nathan Wright; His sister, Cena Ann; 10 grandchildren; And one great-granddaughter.

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