Dixon, Bruce W

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Dixon, Bruce W.


Since the 1960s, Dr. Bruce W. Dixon has been working to improve the health and safety of the state of Pennsylvania. As a physician and professor, Dixon has treated patients and mentored medical students. As the director of the Allegheny County Health Department, he has instituted innovative health programs and made key moves to ready Pennsylvania for potential terrorist threats through disaster planning. Dixon also writes and lectures on forensic science and medical subjects.

Dixon attended the University of Pittsburgh, earning a B.S. degree in chemistry and then an M.D. After working and teaching at Duke University for a number of years, he returned to the University of Pittsburgh in 1975. In 1979, he became an associate professor, continuing to teach and practice medicine . He earned a reputation there for his approachability and enthusiasm for teaching. Dixon has also been a lecturer at the Cyril H. Wecht Institute ofForensic Science and Law, at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, speaking on subjects like the detection of biological and chemical weapons threats.

In 1992 Dixon was appointed as the director of the Allegheny County Health Department, in addition to his duties at the University of Pittsburgh. In the health department post he manages all health programs, including those affecting human health and environmental quality. He has seen to it that the state has been a leader in disaster planning and preparedness, creating an environment where emergency response workers can share knowledge and cooperate with each other. In 2000 Dixon helped form the Allegheny Correctional Health Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides inmate medical services at the Allegheny County Jail. He was also involved with the Pennsylvania smallpox vaccination program, a preventative measure taken in 2003 when public health workers were vaccinated for the disease in response to the potential threat of terrorism.

In addition to his other achievements, Dixon contributes to journals and books on the subject of medicine and disaster response. He is a contributing author of Forensic Aspects of Chemical and Biological Terrorism, which is written for public health and safety workers, and addresses the roles and responsibilities of these officials in the event of a terrorist attack.

see also Bioterrorism.