CAPT John Oguntomilade: New Role as EHE Initiative Coordination Lead
Captain John Oguntomilade, BDS, MPH, PhD, has been selected as the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) Initiative Coordination Lead in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH,) Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP).
CAPT Oguntomilade has served as the Acting EHE Lead for OIDP while also serving as the Prevention through Active Community Engagement (PACE) Director for Region IV (FL, GA, AL, MS, TN, KY, NC & SC). He is an active-duty U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Officer, a dentist, and a public health professional who provides leadership coordination and oversight to the national implementation of the EHE initiative.
CAPT Oguntomilade views EHE as an opportunity to advance an equity approach to addressing health disparities in communities disproportionately impacted by HIV in the U.S. “Over the 40 years of the epidemic,” he noted, “even as our overall numbers of new infections have gone down, disparities have persisted. EHE provides an opportunity for us to see where the issues are, identify challenges, and engage communities effectively to help mitigate these disparities.”
He further reflected on the importance of EHE in addressing the linked health problems of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), viral hepatitis, and substance use and mental health disorders. “EHE offers the opportunity to build on a biomedical approach and expand into a syndemic and holistic approach that engages the totality of the individual and facilitates access to other health and social services that will optimize and sustain the desired health outcomes for communities disproportionately impacted by HIV.”
Before joining OASH in August 2019 as the PACE Director for Region IV, CAPT Oguntomilade served with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Mozambique for four years, where he was the Associate Deputy for Program Management. At CDC, he provided oversight over all the CDC Mozambique’s U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) partners. The CDC PEPFAR program provided HIV care and treatment services in six provinces with the highest HIV prevalence in Mozambique and received about $200 million annually.
Prior to his tenure at CDC, CAPT Oguntomilade served at the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Global HIV/AIDS program, managing its $700+ million PEPFAR Catholic Relief Service program, which provided HIV care and treatment services in 10 countries across sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. In the course of his duties, CAPT Oguntomilade traveled to 11 countries providing technical assistance, conducting program assessments, and supporting program transitions to in-country local partners. He successfully transitioned more than 700,000 patients in the HIV care and treatment program initially managed by U.S. implementing partners to in-country local organizations in Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia, Guyana, Haiti, and South Africa. CAPT Oguntomilade is the recipient of numerous USPHS and U.S. State Department awards, including Outstanding Service Medals, Commendation Medals, and U.S. Embassy Meritorious Service Award.