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Dr. Celeste Philip Named Interim Chief for Bureau of Communicable Diseases

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

March 12, 2013

March 12, 2013

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111


TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is pleased to announce Dr. Celeste Philip as the Interim Bureau Chief for the newly formed Bureau of Communicable Diseases. Dr. Philip previously served the Florida Department of Health in several county positions. In her most recent role as Assistant Director for Public Health for DOH in Volusia County, she was responsible for environmental health, WIC and nutrition, tobacco prevention and public health preparedness.

“Joining us with over a decade of academic and professional experience, DOH looks forward to Dr. Philip’s leadership in laying the groundwork for this new and crucial addition to the Division of Disease Control and Health Protection,” said Dr. Dennis Cookro, Deputy Secretary for Health.

Dr. Philip has served as interim director for DOH in Volusia, Calhoun and Liberty counties. In addition, she served as Medical Director for DOH in Polk County. While in Lakeland, she also chaired the Polk Health Care Alliance Infrastructure Committee, led community health activities, and served on the board of the Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine, through which she provided primary care to uninsured patients.

Dr. Philip’s contributions to public health are not just limited to Florida. She is also a board member of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) six-state Greater Affiliate and the Chair of AHA’s Health Equities Committee., Dr. Philip served at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for three years where her research focused on sugar-sweetened beverages in schools, breastfeeding trends and infant mortality in Mississippi. She also dedicated herself to maternal and child anemia projects in the Philippines and Niger, as well as a nutrition surveillance system in the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Philip graduated from Howard University in Washington DC magna cum laude, with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Spanish. She later received a Master of Public Health in maternal and child health and a Doctor of Medicine from Loma Linda University in California. She completed her residency at Florida Hospital in Orlando and has remained committed to improving health in Florida ever since.

Dr. Philip’s interim role will continue through June, at which point a permanent Bureau Chief will likely be named.

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