Former State Health Secretary and Surgeon General becomes Sonoma County’s new Health Officer

This week Dr. Celeste Philip, MD, MPH, began serving as the County’s Health Officer after the Board of Supervisors appointed her following an extensive nationwide search.

Dr. Philip comes to the County after a successful career serving as the state of Florida’s Surgeon General and Secretary of Health for almost three years—managing a staff of over 13,000 with a $3 billion budget.

As Florida’s chief health official, Dr. Philip had a prominent role in shaping the state’s response to the Zika virus in 2016 and successfully limited mosquito-borne transmission of the virus in south Florida. Last year, the CDC reported zero local mosquito-borne transmitted cases of Zika virus in Florida compared to 218 cases in 2016.

Dr. Philip also advocated the state legislature to streamline the state’s HIV funding to support vital HIV prevention strategies, which was passed by lawmakers unanimously. As a result, all county health departments in Florida began providing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) by the end of 2018.

We look forward to her leadership in helping the County navigate its public health efforts going forward,” said Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair David Rabbitt.

The County Health Officer is responsible for the protection and promotion of the public's health for all in Sonoma County. She will also oversee the work of the DHS Public Health Division located at 625 Fifth Street in downtown Santa Rosa as well as work with other departments, community partners and other counties to improve health on both a programmatic and a policy level.

Dr. Philip serves on the board of directors for the Public Health Accreditation Board and the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and was named the 2016 Outstanding Woman in Public Health by the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health.


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