MSU's Sienko to lead Army Public Health Command
The U.S. Army has put a Michigan State University physician in charge of its efforts to keep soldiers and civilians healthy.
Dean Sienko, associate dean for prevention and public health and associate professor of family medicine in the MSU College of Human Medicine, is taking a one-year leave of absence from the university for active service as commanding general of the U.S. Army Public Health Command. He begins the new post May 23 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
The organization promotes health and prevents disease, injury and disability of soldiers and military retirees, their families and Army civilian employees, and provides veterinary services to the Army and Department of Defense.
A major general in the Army reserves, Sienko was recommended for the position by Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, Army surgeon general. He will oversee 3,000 employees stationed in more than 100 countries and a $180 million budget.
Sienko said he looks forward to leading missions that include environmental health, epidemiology, laboratory sciences and toxicology.
“A lot of very talented scientists work in this command,” Sienko said. “I’m going to get exposure to things that are quite unique, and I’ll be working at a global level. I think I’ll come back to Michigan State as a more skilled public health practitioner.”
In addition to his decorated 30-year military career – which has included deployments to Iraq, Kuwait, Kosovo and Saudi Arabia – Sienko previously was a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and the Michigan Department of Public Health. He also worked with the Ingham County Health Department for 23 years, including five years as its director.