Santa Rosa, CA – April 12, 2019 – 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.
The County is fortunate to have a former
state Health Secretary and Surgeon General of Dr. Philip’s caliber and
experience to serve as health officer. 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.
Prior to her role as
Health Secretary and Surgeon General for Florida, the third most populous
state, Dr. Philip served in various leadership positions within the Florida
Department of Health, totaling over 10 years.
I’m grateful for
the opportunity to join the Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS)
and return to local public health. I look forward to fostering strong
relationships within the community to improve the health and resiliency of all
residents,” said Dr. Philip.
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.
Having a nationally
recognized public health leader with a proven record of responding to today’s
complex and ever-changing community health needs is an incredible opportunity
for the Department and County,” said DHS Director Barbie Robinson. “I am eager
for Dr. Philip to begin leading our key public health programs as well as
addressing the specific health inequities affecting our diverse County.
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.
She also managed the
state’s public health and medical efforts during hurricanes Hermine (2016),
Matthew (2016), Irma (2017), Nate (2017), and Michael (2018), and has extensive
experience serving in public health leadership roles during emergency response
General of Florida, Dr. Philip 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.
A graduate of Howard
University, Dr. Philip earned a Master of Public Health in maternal and child
health and a Doctor of Medicine from Loma Linda University in California.
Dr. Philip also 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.