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Dr. Celeste Philip Named Interim Deputy Secretary for Health and Deputy State Health Officer for CMS

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111


TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is pleased to announce Dr. Celeste Philip as the Interim Deputy Secretary for Health and Deputy State Health Officer for Children's Medical Services (CMS). She is assuming the role from Dr. Dennis Cookro, who is retiring. Dr. Philip previously served the Florida Department of Health as medical director in Volusia County and Interim Bureau Chief for the Bureau of Communicable Diseases.

"Dr. Philip brings extensive academic and professional experience in public health," said Dr. John Armstrong, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health. "I am delighted that she has accepted the call to serve in this way and know that she will add to our Department's collaborative outreach. I also want to thank Dr. Dennis Cookro for a job well done."

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 chaired the Polk Health Care Alliance Infrastructure Committee and served on the board of the Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine, through which she provided primary care to uninsured patients. She is currently a board member of the Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia and a steering committee member of the Department of Juvenile Justice Circuit 7 Disproportionate Minority Contact Initiative.

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 six-state Greater Southeast Affiliate (GSA) and the Chair of GSA's Health Equities Committee. Dr. Philip served at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer where her research focused on sugar-sweetened beverages in schools, national breastfeeding and obesity 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 throughout her career.

DOH protects, promotes and improves the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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