Marcus Plescia is the Chief Medical Officer at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. He provides medical leadership and expertise across the agency and helps coordinate ASTHO’s work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC Foundation and Atlanta-based affiliates. ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ.
Prior to his work at ASTHO, Marcus served as the Health Director for Mecklenberg County. There he oversaw programs in health policy, epidemiology, infectious disease, school health, trauma/justice services, community health and clinical services. He also led the expansion of the health department from 400 to over 800 employees, through the addition of environmental health, school health and behavioral health programs. During his tenure he transitioned the department to a health policy and community health focus, consistent with current, nationwide efforts to transform public health practice to a more population-based, strategic framework . The department became more engaged in health policy and systems change, implemented community campaigns to influence social norms, and began a process to evaluate and redirect existing programs.
Dr. Plescia served for five years as the Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With an annual budget of over $300 million and 150 staff, he oversaw national programs for comprehensive cancer control, breast and cervical cancer screening, colorectal cancer screening and state cancer registries. He also supported a well-developed research agenda in cancer epidemiology and program effectiveness which includes the national Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network.
Dr. Plescia earned his MD and MPH from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society.