Anita Smith appointed cochair of PACHA
Anita Smith, cofounder of the Children's AIDS Fund, was appointed Thursday by Health and Human Services secretary Tommy Thompson to serve as cochair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS. Smith will replace former cochair Tom Coburn, who resigned from the council to successfully run for a U.S. Senate seat in Oklahoma. Smith, the first woman to serve as cochair of PACHA, has been a member of the council for several years and is an expert on youth development, according to a press release issued by HHS. "Anita brings a tremendous degree of experience and expertise to the council, which only strengthens this administration's commitment to help end the pandemic of HIV and AIDS," said Thompson in the release. "Anita will help lead an already strong team that continues to make great strides in halting the spread of HIV and AIDS across the world through results-driven initiatives, extensive research and an expansion in access to quality care and treatment." Marsha Martin, executive director of AIDS Action, praised Smith's appointment as PACHA cochair. "Anita and I have worked together on a number of issues over the years," Martin said in a statement. "She's always professional and always well-informed with the most up-to-date information available"