Binghamton University faculty member Leo Wilton was among six people named last week as new members of the Director’s Council of Public Representatives at the National Institutes of Health.
The 21- member panel is the advisory committee to the NIH director on issues important to the public. The Office of the Director is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 institutes and centers.
Wilton is an associate professor of human development and Africana studies. He specializes in health disparities related to HIV and AIDS in black communities, community-based research and evaluation and black psychological development and mental health. As a regional trainer for the American Psychological Association’s HIV Office for Psychology Education, Wilton provides outreach to diverse communities about HIV prevention. He has extensive experience as a psychologist in providing mental health care related to HIV prevention in black communities.
Wilton, who spent most of last week in Bethesda, Md., attending his first meeting as a member of the council, said he is delighted to serve the country in this way. “This is really important in terms of public health,” he said.
Wilton said he already played a role in a recent request for consumer health information released by the NIH. He and a number of Binghamton students will lead the data analysis of the results, which will look at the public’s health information needs and information-seeking behaviors.
“It’s good to know you’re having an impact on public health in the nation,” he said. “It’s interesting to get to participate on that level.”