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OU Appoints Chief COVID Officer to Advise Campus Return Plans

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June 8, 2020

OU Appoints Chief COVID Officer to Advise Campus Return Plans

As the University of Oklahoma progresses on a phased return to normal campus operations, OU has appointed Dr. Dale Bratzler, a nationally leading expert in infectious diseases and public health, as University Chief COVID Officer.

 “Ever since the university began closely monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 virus early this year, Dr. Bratzler has been heavily involved in our decision-making and safety planning,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “As OU’s Chief COVID Officer, Dr. Bratzler will help to coordinate a consistent approach to our return efforts in light of the best available data about COVID-19 infection trends. His guidance will help ensure we are doing everything we can on our campuses to prevent the spread of the virus, while we carefully and thoughtfully reopen our on-campus educational programs.”

Bratzler, a professor and chair of the Department of Health Administration and Policy in the Hudson College of Public Health at OU, has devoted nearly 25 years toward researching infection prevention and treatment, in addition to advising health care leaders on public health topics. Bratzler also is a faculty member in the Department of Internal Medicine in the OU College of Medicine and serves as enterprise chief quality officer for the three-hospital health system and faculty practice at OU Medicine. 

Over the course of his career, he has been appointed to leadership positions on numerous national health organizations, including service as a senior policy adviser for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Office of the Associate Director of Policy. He has served two terms as president of the American Health Quality Association, and he recently completed a two-year term on the board of directors of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Additional public service includes previous appointments by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to the CDC’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, as well as the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Bratzler’s experience in health care quality improvement includes working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on the development and maintenance of national performance measures used to profile and report on the quality of inpatient and outpatient health care. 

He has given more than 600 lectures nationally on health care quality topics, with a particular emphasis on prevention of surgical site infections and adult vaccination. Board certified in internal medicine, he is a Master Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Internists and is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Bratzler graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Missouri with a bachelor of science in biology. He earned his doctor of osteopathy from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. After working as an internal medicine physician in private practice for nine years in Tulsa, Bratzler earned his master of public health degree from OU. He continues to practice internal medicine, providing services to patients in clinics for the uninsured.


About the University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit