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It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Surgeon General and Secretary

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Dr. Celeste Philip, MD, MPH

Celeste Philip, MD, MPH, was appointed by Governor Rick Scott as Surgeon General and State Health Officer of the Florida Department of Health (department) on May 18, 2016.  Dr. Philip, who is board certified in Family Medicine as well as Public Health and General Preventive Medicine has been with the department for 10 years. She began her career with the department in Polk County where she served as medical director and lead for community assessment, strategic planning, and accreditation. She went on to serve in numerous capacities, including interim director for three county health departments and interim bureau chief for communicable diseases. After five years in local public health, Dr. Philip was promoted to Deputy Secretary for Health and Deputy State Health Officer for Children's Medical Services, a role she held for held for nearly three years.

During her tenure as state health officer, Dr. Philip led Florida’s zika virus response to successfully limit mosquito-borne transmission in south Florida and oversaw the state’s health and medical efforts (ESF8) during hurricanes Hermine, Matthew, Irma, Nate, and Michael. She also chaired the state health improvement planning (SHIP) process with over 20 partner organizations that identified achieving health equity as the overarching theme and served to coordinate multi-agency efforts to address challenging issues such as opioid overdose prevention and treatment and reducing new cases of HIV.

Dr. Philip serves on the board of directors for the Public Health Accreditation Board and the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. She was named the 2016 Outstanding Woman in Public Health by the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health. Under her leadership, the department was awarded a grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation to collaborate with Trust for America’s Health and partners such as AARP, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, and the Area Agencies on Aging to create a novel public health framework to support healthy aging in communities.

Dr. Philip graduated from Howard University in Washington DC magna cum laude then earned a Master of Public Health in maternal and child health and a Doctor of Medicine from Loma Linda University in California. She completed a family medicine residency at Florida Hospital in Orlando and served at the​ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer and preventive medicine resident while a commissioned officer of the US Public Health Service.

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