Newswise — CHICAGO - Dr. Melissa Simon, the George H. Gardner Professor of Clinical Gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has been appointed to a national task force that makes recommendations on clinical preventive services, including screenings, counseling, and preventive medications on topics such as cancer and diabetes.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is an independent, volunteer panel of 16 national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine whose members come from many fields of preventive medicine and primary care, including internal medicine, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, behavioral health and nursing.

The appointment is “an amazing, pie-in-the sky career goal,” said Simon, who also is the vice chair for clinical research in the department of obstetrics and gynecology and a professor in the departments of preventive medicine and medical social sciences at Feinberg. She began her four-year term with two other new members on Jan. 1.

The Task Force makes evidence-based recommendations on clinical preventive services for primary care clinicians and their patients.

[The appointment is] an amazing, pie-in-the-sky career goal.

Dr. Melissa Simon

“It’s quite a huge honor to be able to represent primary care providers, especially in the area of women’s health – and specifically in the area of obstetrics and gynecology – while at the same time championing recommendations that meet the needs of diverse populations at a national level,” Simon said.

Simon also is director of the Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative, a National Cancer Institute-funded initiative to reduce cancer disparities in Chicago's low-income neighborhoods, and co-leader of the Cancer Control and Survivorship Research Program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

“On behalf of my fellow Task Force members, I am happy to welcome Dr. Simon to the Task Force,” said Task Force chair Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo. “Her expertise in improving the health of women, racially/ethnically diverse communities and vulnerable populations will be a valuable addition to the Task Force.”

“I am proud to congratulate Dr. Simon on her new appointment,” said Dr. Eric G. Neilson, vice president for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean at Feinberg. “Melissa is a skilled physician and a passionate advocate for health equity, preventive medicine and women’s health, and I am confident that her skills and experience will be an invaluable asset to the work of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.”

To learn more about Dr. Simon and all members of the Task Force, visit the USPSTF’s members page.