Dr. Pongthep Wongwatcharapaiboon : From Epidemiologist to Chief Executive Officer of Thai Health Promotion Foundation

                    On January 9, 2024, Mr. Somsak Thepsutin, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Health Promotion Support Fund Committee, signed the board committee’s resolution No. 1/2024 regarding the appointment of Dr. Pongthep Wongwatcharapaiboon as the Chief Executive Officer of Thai Health Promotion Foundation in place of Dr. Supreda Adulyanon, whose term has concluded.

                    Dr. Pongthep is one of Thailand’s skilled epidemiologist. He attained his medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University. Additionally, he underwent training in Preventive Medicine (Epidemiology) through the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) under the Ministry of Public Health and obtained a certificate in Preventive Medicine (Epidemiology) from the Medical Council of Thailand. He was also awarded the John Snow Award, an international award in the field of epidemiology, by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) in the United States of America in 1998 for his investigation into food poisoning from Botulinum toxin in canned bamboo shoots in Nan Province. In addition, he was given the Outstanding Epidemiologist Physician Award for his contributions to epidemiological studies in public health by the Ministry of Public Health in 2009. Then, he was recognized as an outstanding alumnus, specifically dedicated physicians, by the Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital in 2018. Finally, he received the Distinguished Civil Servant Award of Nan in 2020.

                    Regarding his professional backgrounds, Dr. Pongthep served as a specialized physician at Nan Hospital, with the responsibility of overseeing social medicine work. He accomplished various notable feats. These include setting up a quit smoking clinic at Nan Hospital, employing the 5A method to aid patients in smoking cessation. Additionally, he played a key role in promoting Nan Municipality as a safe global community and spearheaded initiatives like alcohol-free events such as alcohol-free boat racing. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, he served on both the investigation and spokesperson teams for pandemic management. Moreover, he led a research team to evaluate the precision of rapid antigen test kits (ATK). His most recent government position was Deputy Director of Nan Hospital prior to resigning and assuming the role of Director of the Health System Development Section under ThaiHealth on April 1, 2022. He was responsible for health promotion through healthcare service systems, with the aim of supporting and promoting academic and other initiatives to enhance work processes. Essentially, this was intended to enhance the quality of healthcare services and enable equitable access to those services for Thai people.

                    As the new CEO of ThaiHealth, Dr. Pongthep has set forth a vision of the organization in the third decade towards being the “National Reference for Health Promotion” through internal integration, coordinating efforts among external relevant parties, and advancing health promotion initiatives strategically. Additionally, ThaiHealth is empowered to innovate and deliver outcomes, utilize budgetary resources wisely and efficiently, develop its personnel into role models in health promotion, and expand ThaiHealth’s missions to promote greater public awareness.

                      We would like to encourage all partners in society to lend yours support to the new CEO in creating works with significant contributions to promoting the well-being of Thai people and serving as a model organization for health promotion at national and international levels.

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