New Castle, DE – New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer today announced the formation of a Medical Advisory Task Force to advise county government on eradicating the virus from our community and keeping county employees and the general public safe. Members of the committee are:
- Dr. Neil Hockstein, Chairman
- Dr. David Sinclair
- Dr. Michael Bass
- Brian Boyle
- Dr. LeRoi Hicks
- Bruce Kingham
- Dr. Mia Papas
- Rep. Ray Seigfried
- Dr. Eric Kmiec
- Dr. Mary Lee
- Dr. Ralph Gonzalez
“In this crisis, the communities that are able to implement the smartest polices will emerge from this crisis first,” Dr. Hockstein said. “I am honored to have this opportunity to serve.”
“We are far from having a vaccine, so we will likely have to live with the coronavirus for the rest of the year and probably much longer,” Dr. David Sinclair said. “It is not only important to protect the population from COVID-19 but also to reduce fear and instill confidence in our leadership and in the system so that the economy rebounds quickly.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to these leading scientists in our community who have offered to provide guidance to move our county forward,” County Executive Meyer said.
“Experts are predicting a potential second wave of COVID-19 later this year and states need to prepare by ramping up testing and tracing, and of course maintain social distancing as much as possible to keep spread of the disease to a minimum. One of the best ways to control this pandemic is to increase testing, especially our first responders and the essential workers we rely on.”
Dr. Michael Bass added: “Increasing testing volume in our first responders is paramount in our fight against COVID-19 and key to getting back to our normal lives. On average, they are in the younger demographics and are therefore more likely to have mild symptoms or none at all, if they have the virus. Finding those who have it and quarantining is the best way to keep the first responders and their families safe as well as the general public. They put their lives on the line for us on a daily basis, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of this initiative and give back.”
Dr. Michael Bass trained in Internal Medicine at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and subsequently completed a sub-specialty fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at State University of New York. He has a strong interest in digital medicine and its application to improve our health care system. He has advisory roles at multiple health care technology companies and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. He is partner at GI Specialists of Delaware based in Newark DE.
Brian Boyle is a senior policy advisor to the County Executive. Mr. Boyle leads the county’s GreeNCC initiative and the county’s efforts to secure and execute more broad testing across the county.
Dr. Leroi Hicks is the Hugh R. Sharp, Jr. Chair of Medicine at Christiana Care and leads Christiana Care’s Value Institute. Dr. Hicks is the recipient of numerous clinical and research awards and is nationally known for his research on health care disparities.
Dr. Neil Hockstein is a leading head and neck surgeon. He has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles on the treatment of sinus disease and head and neck cancer. He is Medical Director of Surgical Subspecialty Care at ChristianaCare and the Director of Head and Neck Multidisciplinary Care at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and serves as adjunct faculty at The Wistar Institute.
Bruce Kingham is the director of Sequencing and Genotyping at the Biotechnology Institute at the University of Delaware. Mr. Kingham has won numerous National Institutes of Health and National Sciences Foundation grants to do market-leading genomics research.
Eric B. Kmiec, Ph.D. is well known for his pioneering work in the fields of molecular medicine and gene editing. Since 2014 he has directed the Gene Editing Institute of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute at Christiana Care.
Dr. Mary Lee is Enterprise Vice President and Physician-in-Chief for Nemours Delaware Valley Operations. Her medical leadership role includes responsibilities for Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Nemours hospitalists serving affiliated hospitals, as well as physician practices throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. She is one of the most accomplished academic physicians ever recruited to Nemours and a recognized national leader in pediatric research.
Dr. Mia Papas is one of Delaware’s leading epidemiologists and is the director of Clinical Research and Health Outcomes at Christiana Care’s Value Institute. She has taught numerous courses in the fields of epidemiology, public health, biostatistics and applied data analysis.
Rep. Ray Seigfried represents the people of the 7th District in Delaware’s General Assembly. He has spent 26 years at Christiana Care, most recently as a senior vice president as well as a professor of healthcare policy.
Dr. David A. Sinclair is a Professor in the Department of Genetics and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School. He is best known for his work on understanding why we age and how to slow its effects. He obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics at the University of New South Wales, Sydney in 1995.