Maine CDC Press Release

June 28, 2004

State Health Official to Receive Executive Fellowship

Contacts: Newell Augur, Director Paul Kuenhert, Director
  Office of Public and Legislative Affairs Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness
  Department of Human Services Department of Human Services
  Tel:  (207) 287-1921 Tel: (207) 287-5179
  TTY: (207) 287-4479 TTY: (207) 287-8066
  Pager: (207) 592-1006

Augusta: Department of Human Services Commissioner John R. Nicholas announced today that the state director of the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Paul Kuehnert, MS, RN, has been selected as one of the twenty Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows for 2004. Kuehnert was chosen out of a nationwide pool of applicants from health care, public health and academic health institutions.

Commissioner Nicholas said that Kuehnert’s receipt of this fellowship is a tribute to the respect that he has earned within the public health community in Maine and across the country. “His selection says a great deal about the quality of the public health professionals who work in our state,“ Commissioner Nicholas added. “I am delighted for Paul, and I am certain that all of us in Maine will benefit from his participation in this program.”

The Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program is an advanced leadership program for nurses in senior executive roles who are leaders in shaping the future of the US health care system. The program’s mission is to inspire experienced nurses in executive roles to continue achieving the highest levels of leadership in the health care system of the 21st century.

The fellowship is for three-years and is an "in-place" program, meaning that Kuehnert will continue in his position at DHS and integrate the work related to the fellowship into his schedule. The fellowship consists of independent study, several seminars and mentoring opportunities each year, as well as a project related to his current work.

“I am extremely fortunate to have been selected for this honor because it would not have happened without the support of my colleagues, both at the Bureau of Health and within the nursing profession here in Maine,” Kuehnert said. “Moreover, this selection reflects positively on the collective effort in Maine to improve our health and human services. I look forward to sharing the benefits of this opportunity with my colleagues and other health care professionals throughout the state.”

Kuehnert has worked for the Department of Human Services, Bureau of Health since 1999. Since March 2002, he has been focused on Public Health Emergency Preparedness and was named the director of the Maine office in November of last year. In that position, he oversees all activities related to the administration of federal bio-terrorism funds, including the development of an Integrated Public Health Information System, which includes a web-based alerting system that can give up-to-the-minute, accurate information to health care providers around the state.

Kuehnert received his master’s degree in Nursing Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining the Bureau of Health, he had a broad range of experience related to public health. He was the Associate Director of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and the founder and director of a management consulting company that advised health and human service organizations on issues such as strategic planning, program evaluation and community needs assessment.

Kuehnert currently serves as a board member for several community health organizations, including the Maine Center for Public Health. He is also the author of a number of publications, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS treatment, Native American Health and public health nursing.

Kuehnert is the father of three children. He and his wife live in Hallowell.