BISMARCK, ND (STL.News) Gov. Doug Burgum today appointed Dr. Nizar Wehbi (Nee-zar Wee-bee) to serve as North Dakota’s State Health Officer, effective May 1. Wehbi currently serves as deputy director of the Center for Health Policy and assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).
Wehbi has served as the Center for Health Policy’s deputy director since January 2016, conducting research and policy analysis to inform policymaking with a focus on improving population health and the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system. In that role, he led initiatives to address binge drinking and colorectal cancer and conducted analysis on the health care workforce shortage. As an assistant professor in the College of Public Health at UNMC, Wehbi directs the master’s in health administration (MHA) program, with teaching areas of focus that include health administration, health policy, the U.S. health care system and human resources management.
Prior to his current roles, Wehbi served as a senior planner in the Strategic Planning and Business Development Department at Nebraska Medicine. He began his career in clinical medicine, caring for patients in inpatient and outpatient settings and later, as an instructor of surgery at UNMC, joining a research team to identify biomarkers for early detection and risk assessment of bladder and prostate cancers.