In his new role, Dr. Jarris, who currently serves as Senior Vice President, Maternal and Child Health Program Impact at the March of Dimes, will lead the Foundation’s medical and public health efforts to reduce infant mortality, birth defects and premature birth, the leading causes of death and disability among babies in the United States. “We are pleased to welcome Dr. Paul Jarris as the next Chief Medical Officer of the March of Dimes Foundation,” said Gary Dixon, Chair of the National Board of Trustees. “Throughout his career in public health and healthcare, he has advanced critical health issues at the local, state and federal levels. This experience will be crucial to meeting March of Dimes targets for reducing preterm birth rates across the country.”
Before he joined the March of Dimes in 2015, Dr. Jarris was Executive Director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), where he partnered with the March of Dimes to challenge all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to lower their preterm birth rates.
Previously, Dr. Jarris served as Commissioner of Health for the State of Vermont, where he led healthcare policy matters and championed new public health initiatives, addressing access to care, prevention, and the factors that impact population health. In addition, he has held a number of health insurance executive-level positions, including President and CEO of Vermont Permanente Medical Group. Throughout his career, Dr. Jarris has received numerous prestigious award and honors, and has served as a member of many health-related boards and committees.
The appointment of Dr. Jarris follows the retirement of Edward R.B. McCabe, MD, PhD. Dr. McCabe, an internationally renowned expert in pediatrics and genetics, held the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer since 2012. During his tenure, Dr. McCabe developed and led numerous March of Dimes initiatives to improve the health of pregnant women and babies. In 2016, he was recognized by the White House, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the public health community as an early and forceful exponent of a rapid response to prevent Zika virus infection.
“We’re grateful for the leadership and legacy of Dr. McCabe,” said Stacey D. Stewart, MBA, President-Elect of the March of Dimes. “The advances that have been made under his guidance have left an indelible impact on the lives of mothers and babies. We wish Dr. McCabe the best in his retirement and express appreciation for his work to smoothly transition Dr. Jarris into his new role.”