Norman Anderson, PhD, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, has been appointed president of the board of directors of the Starbright Foundation, an organization dedicated to empowering seriously ill children to cope with the medical and emotional challenges they face daily. The foundation is chaired by Steven Spielberg and Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf.
Anderson's background has prepared him for the job. As founding associate director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, Anderson's priorities were to advance behavioral and social science research and training, integrate the biobehavioral prospective across NIH and improve communications between scientists and the public. His research has focused on the processes underlying racial and socioeconomic disparities in health care.
As Starbright president, Anderson is charged with creating new programs to help children cope with psychosocial issues surrounding illness, such as depression, fear, lack of control and social interactions. Using entertainment, communication and education, Anderson hopes to help children improve their self-esteem, manage pain and feel empowered.