Sendero Health Plans  announced March 26 that Dr. Robert Allison is joining the health plan as chief medical officer.

Allison has more than a decade of diverse public health initiative experience, having served for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and most recently the National Institutes of Health.

"This opportunity was presented to me... It was similar to what I was doing, in some ways, overseas—serving the people who need the help the most," Allison told Community Impact Newspaper. "It was very attractive to me to take my international experience and apply it here in this community."

According to his NIH bio, Allison was a clinical research training program fellow and a postdoctoral clinical research fellow in the NIH Department of Transfusion Medicine with a focus on prevention of transfusion-transmitted infections and on the epidemiology, natural history and pathogenesis of the hepatitis C virus.

Sendero’s new CMO has international experience rolling out public health initiatives, according to the March 26 press release. Allison served on the CDC Ebola Vaccine Task Force during the 2015-15 Ebola virus epidemic. Prior to working with the CDC, Allsion worked as a physician-consultant for the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and measles/rubella elimination programs, according to Allison’s NIH bio.

Allison additionally served as a U.S. Naval Medical Officer and Head of Clinical Quality for the Naval Medical Center San Diego, responsible for 250,000 patients.

“Dr. Allison brings a unique set of skills that is perfectly suited to Sendero’s work for Austin,” said Wes Durkalski, CEO of Sendero, in the March 26 press release. “As a community health plan, we are working to make the community healthy, and [Allison] brings key skills in this area. We are thrilled to have him join our team.”

As CMO for Sendero, Allison’s duties include working with Sendero members to improve health standards, such as working on Sendero’s community health initiatives, according to the press release.

"I have a particular interest in giving the taxpayers the greatest value in their investment," Allison told Community Impact Newspaper.

This article has been updated to include quotes from Dr. Robert Allison.