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Mayor Walsh recommends candidate for new BPHC executive director

December 21, 2015

Public Health Commission

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Public Health Commission

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that he is joining the search committee in recommending Monica Valdes Lupi to the the Board of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) for appointment as its next executive director. Valdes Lupi, who served BPHC from 2001-2007 as a senior health policy manager and later chief of staff, would bring more than 20 years of experience in public administration and public health to the role as the chief executive of Boston's health department.  

"I am pleased that this year-long search process has culminated in Boston finding such a decorated and distinguished leader to head up the commission," said Mayor Walsh. "Monica Valdes Lupi has exceptional experience at the forefront of public health policy and a proven record of coordinating and implementing important public health initiatives. I have no doubt that her local, state and national experience will enable her to solve the most pressing public health challenges facing our city." 

Mayor Walsh and the Board of Health appointed a search committee to oversee the process of finding a permanent executive director, co-chaired by Board Chair Dr. Paula Johnson and Harvard School of Public Health professor Dr. Howard Koh in October 2014.    

"The Boston Public Health Commission is tasked with the important role of promoting the health and well-being of Boston's residents and there is no better person to serve as Executive Director than Monica Valdes Lupi," said Felix Arroyo, Chief of Health and Human Services. "As a health professional with a strong record in leading the way on critical public health issues, I am confident that she will maintain and strengthen Boston's reputation for being a national leader on public health initiatives and I am looking forward to working with her." 

"The Commission is charged with both providing a wide range of critically-needed public health services and programming in the City of Boston as well as setting the City's public health agenda, so finding the right person to lead this agency has been a top priority," said Dr. Paula Johnson, Chair of the Board of the BPHC. "Having admired Ms. Valdes Lupi's work during her time at the BPHC and her subsequent leadership in public health, I am eager to welcome her back. She will bring a breadth of local, state and national experience to the BPHC."  

The Boston Public Health Commission is the country's oldest health department. Public service and access to quality health care are the cornerstones of its mission to protect, preserve and promote the health and well-being of Boston residents, particularly the most vulnerable. As executive director, Valdes Lupi would advance this mission and oversee the commission's more than 40 programs grouped into 6 bureaus: Child, Adolescent & Family Health; Community Health Initiatives; Homeless Services; Infectious Disease; Addictions Prevention, Treatment & Recovery Support Services; and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

In her roles as BPHC's senior health policy manager and later chief of staff, Valdes Lupi was an integral member of several groundbreaking Boston public health initiatives, including the agency's pioneering task force to address racial and ethnic disparities, which preceded BPHC's ongoing efforts to promote health equity in Boston. Valdes Lupi later served as chief of staff and deputy commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, during which time she successfully oversaw and advanced institutional initiatives and public health reform policies that enabled the Commonwealth to better serve its residents.  

"I was honored to participate in the search for Boston's next top public health official, and I am confident that this recommendation will keep Boston on course as a national leader in promoting health and health equity at the local-government level," said Dr. Howard Koh.   

Most recently, Valdes Lupi was the chief program officer of health systems transformation for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, where she led the strategic coordination of health transformation projects, including public health integration and informatics, designed to improve population health.

"On behalf of all commission employees, I am truly excited to welcome Monica back to the Boston Public Health Commission," said Dr. Huy Nguyen, who has served as BPHC's interim executive director and medical director since October 2014.  "I know that she has a deep understanding of our organization as well as the importance of promoting health equity.  We're excited for the work ahead."

The Board of the BPHC is scheduled to meet to take up the appointment on Wednesday, December 23rd at 9:30am.