Gov. Deal names interim DPH commissioner

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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s office issued the following press release on July 7…

Following President Trump’s appointment of Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald [M.D.] to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Gov. Nathan Deal today named J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D., as interim commissioner at the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). Prior to this role, which takes effect immediately, Dr. O’Neal served as the director of health protection at DPH. 

“I’m proud of my friend and colleague Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, and I am grateful for her tireless efforts in promoting the health and well-being of Georgians,” said Gov. Deal. “As commissioner, she’s been an asset to our state and an advocate for our citizens. I’m certain she will bring those same qualities to the CDC and lead the federal agency skillfully. I’m confident that Dr. O’Neal’s extensive experience, vast medical knowledge and strong leadership capabilities will allow for a seamless transition. As interim commissioner, Dr. O’Neal will continue promoting the critical work performed by DPH employees, advancing programs throughout the state and collaborating with Georgia’s 159 county health departments and 18 public health districts. I wish Drs. Fitzgerald and O’Neal great success in their new roles and endeavors.”

“I am humbled by the challenges that lie ahead, yet I am confident that the successes we’ve had in Georgia will provide me with a foundation for guiding the work of the CDC,” said Fitzgerald. “The progress we’ve made in Georgia around early brain development, childhood obesity and creating a model for addressing life-threatening epidemics would not have been possible without the full support of Governor Deal and a dedicated public health staff. I look forward to the continued good work of DPH under Dr. O’Neal’s leadership.”

Dr. O’Neal is a member of the Medical Association of Georgia.

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