Volusia health expert named interim chief for state’s Bureau of Communicable Diseases



Dr. Celeste Philip, assistant director for Public Health for the Volusia Department of Health has been named Interim Bureau Chief for the newly formed Bureau of Communicable Diseases for the Florida Department of Health.

Dr. Celeste Philip
Dr. Celeste Philip

In the Volusia position, 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, (Department of Health) 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.

Philip’s interim position in Tallahassee will continue through June at which point a permanent bureau chief will likely be named.

She 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.

Vast experience
Philip’s contributions to public health are not just limited to Florida. She also is a board member of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) six-state Greater Affiliate and the chair of AHA’s Health Equities Committee.

She also was 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.

Philip graduated from Howard University 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.



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