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FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ANNOUNCES INTERIM DEPUTY SECRETARY FOR STATEWIDE SERVICES
-Robert “Sterling” Whisenhunt to head Florida’s 67 County Health Departments-
TALLAHASSEE – State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong announced today Robert “Sterling” Whisenhunt as Interim Deputy Secretary for Statewide Services, effective immediately. Mr. Whisenhunt brings a strong public health background including experience working in large, medium, and small county health departments to his new role within the Florida Department of Health (DOH). Mr. Whisenhunt will oversee the activities of Florida’s 67 County Health Departments (CHD) while DOH conducts a statewide search to permanently fill this position.
“Sterling’s service as Statewide Services Administrator for the Department of Health has uniquely equipped him for this position’s responsibilities on an interim basis,” said Dr. Armstrong. “We are confident that with his skills and background, Florida’s 67 County Health Departments will continue to thrive as the primary implementation arm of the public health system.”
Sterling relocated to Florida for a position within the Miami-Dade County Health Department’s Office of Epidemiology and Disease Control. He started as a disease investigator, working to become one of the lead outbreak investigators with the added responsibility of bioterrorism, hurricane and disaster preparedness, and response activities. Sterling worked his way up to Program Manager for the Hepatitis Program, which eventually took him to the Seminole County Health Department as the Epidemiology Program Manager. After a brief stint in the private sector, Sterling rejoined the Florida Department of Health in the position of Statewide Services Administrator.
Sterling graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Health Care Management. He started his public health career working for the State of Georgia Department of Public Health. Sterling was based out of the Muscogee County Health Department, which was the headquarters for the West Central Health District that covered a seventeen county area. While in the role of Community Epidemiologist for the West Central Health District, Sterling was awarded the Sellers-McCroan Award. Sterling received this award for his successful efforts in epidemiology and surveillance during the 1996 Olympics which were held in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Florida Department of Health’s mission is to protect and promote the health of all residents and visitors in the state through organized state and community efforts, including cooperative agreements with counties. For more information about County Health Departments, visit the public health services http://www.doh.state.fl.us/ExecStaff/chddescription.html website.
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