Originally published July 15, 2013
On Tuesday, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) will welcome Paul W. Ruth as its new chief information officer. Ruth will manage and oversee all of DPH's information technology endeavors and projects across the state. He joins nine others on the department's executive leadership team and will report directly to a very excited Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., DPH's commissioner.
"Information technology is so vitally important to public health so it's imperative we find the perfect match for this very challenging position," Fitzgerald said. "Paul's experience and true understanding of what we're accomplishing make him an absolutely perfect fit for our team."
Ruth joins public health after 25 years in Cobb County where he served the last 13 years as information services director, focusing on the enhancement of service and security.
At DPH, Ruth will oversee the ongoing, statewide transformation of IT and will work closely with districts to lead the development of the new statewide WIC Information System and the new Vital Records Information System. He describes the current collaborative work between the state and each of Georgia's 18 public health districts as "amazing."
"In everything I see and learn about the systems in place, it is clear that everyone -- the health districts, the health partners and GTA -- have worked collectively toward a common IT goal. It is important that we continue that work together. This is a wonderful opportunity and I'm proud to join your team."
Ruth will chair the DPH Information Services Governance Council, an important collaboration to ensure DPH's information services needs are met in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
Ruth earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, cum laude, in management at Kennesaw State University and has been awarded certifications through the University of Georgia, Carl Vinson Institute of Government's public management and information technology leadership programs. He lives in Acworth with his wife Brigitta and has four children and five grandchildren. Ruth is an avid hiker.