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Antonia Coello Novello Edit Profile

Antonia Coello Novello, pediatric nephrologist, former state health commissioner, former United States Surgeon General. Achievements include being the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as surgeon general.


Novello, Antonia Coello was born on August 23, 1944 in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Daughter of Antonio and Ana D. (Flores) Coello.


Bachelor of Science, University Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, 1965. Doctor of Medicine, University Puerto Rico, San Juan, 1970. Master in Public Health, Johns Hopkins School Hygiene, 1982.

DrPh, Johns Hopkins University, 2000. Doctor of Science (honorary), Medical College Ohio, 1990. Doctor of Science (honorary), University Central Caribe, Cayey, Puerto Rico, 1990.

Doctor of Science (honorary), Lehigh University, 1992. Doctor of Science (honorary), Hood College, 1992. Doctor of Science (honorary), University Notre Dame, Indiana, 1991.

Doctor of Science (honorary), New York Medical College, 1992. Doctor of Science (honorary), University Massachusetts, 1992. Doctor of Science (honorary), Florida International University, 1992.

Doctor of Science (honorary), Catholic University, 1993. Doctor of Science (honorary), Washington College, 1993. Doctor of Science (honorary), St. Mary's College, 1993.

Doctor of Science (honorary), Eastern Virginia Medical School, 1993. Doctor of Science (honorary), Central Connecticut State University, 1993. Doctor of Science (honorary), Georgetown University, 1993.

Doctor of Science (honorary), University Michigan, 1994. Doctor of Science (honorary), Mount Sinai School Medicine, 1995. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Alvernia College, 1996.

HHD (honorary), Kings College, 1996. Doctor in Health Science (honorary), Ponce School of Medicine, 1996. Doctor in Law (honorary), Gannon University, 1997.

Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Loyola University, 1997. Doctor of Science (honorary), University North Texas, Fort Worth, 2002. Doctor of Science (honorary), Howard University, 2003.

Doctor of Science (honorary), New York University, 2003. Doctor of Science (honorary), Pace University, 2003. Doctor of Science (honorary), College New Rochelle, New York, 2003.

Doctor of Science (honorary), Chatham College, Pittsburgh, 2005. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), College St. Rose, New York, 2004. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Setton Hall University, 2006.

Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Nova Southeastern University, 2007.


Intern in pediatrics University Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, 1970-1971, resident in pediatrics, 1971-1973, pediatric nephrology fellow, 1973-1974, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, 1974-1975. Project officer National Institute Arthritis, Metabolism and Digestive Diseases National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 1978-1979, staff physician, 1979-1980. Executive secretary general medicine B study section, division of research grants National Institutes of Health, 1981-1986.

Deputy director National Institute Child Health & Human Development, National Institutes of Health, 1986-1990. Surgeon general United States Department Health & Human Services, Washington, 1990-1993. Special representative for health and nutrition United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, New York City, 1993—1996.

Visiting professor health policy and management Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, 1996—1999. Commissioner of health State of New York, 1999—2007. Vice president Women and Children's Health and Policy Affairs, Florida Children's Hospital, since 2008.

Executive Disney Children's Hospital, Orlando, Florida, since 2009. Executive director Public Health Policy Florida Hospital, 2010. Clinical professor pediatrics Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, 1986, 89, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, 1989.

Adjunct professor pediatrics and communicable diseases University Michigan Medical School, 1993. Adjunct professor international health School Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Professor department health policy management and behavior State University of New York, since 1999.

Clinical professor pediatrics University Rochester, New York, since 1999. Member Georgetown Medical Center Interdepartmental Research Group. Legislation fellow United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Washington, 1982-1983.

Member Committee on Research in Pediatric Nephrology, Washington. Participant grants associate program seminars National Institute Arthritis, Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, 1980-1981. Pediatric consultant Adolescent Medicine Service, Psychiatric Institute, Washington, 1979-1983.

Nephrology consultant Metropolitan Washington Renal Dialysis Center affiliate Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, 1975-1978. Physical diagnosis class instructor University Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, 1973-1974. Chair Secretary's Work Group on Pediatric Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and Diseases, Department of Health and Human Services, 1988.

Consultant World Health Organization, Geneva, 1989. Member Johns Hopkins Society Scholars, 1991.


Served in United States Public Health Service, 1978-1999. Fellow American Academy Pediatrics (Excellence Public Service award 1993). Member American Medical Association (Nathan Davis award 1993, Meritorious Service award 1993, Luther L. Terry award, 2000), Institute Medicine National Academy of Sciences, International Society Nephrology, American Society Nephrology, Latin American Society Nephrology, Society for Pediatric Research, American Pediatric Society, Association Military Surgeons United States, American Society Pediatric Nephrology, Pan American Medical and Dental Society (president-elect, secretary 1984), District of Columbia Medical Society (associate), Johns Hopkins University Society Scholars, State Government National Governors Association (Distinguished Service award, 2005), Sciences Smithsonian Latino Center (Legacy award, 2008), Alpha Omega Alpha.


  • Other Interests

    Avocation: collecting antique furniture.


Married Joseph R. Novello, May 30, 1970.