Commissioner Fitzgerald Welcomes DPH Staff

September 3, 2013

Originally Published July 05, 2011

Dear Georgia Department of Public Health Team,

As I stood with the Governor on Wednesday and swore an oath as the Commissioner of the new Department of Public Health (DPH), I realized more than ever what a momentous occasion we are experiencing together. The creation of a new department is a historic milestone in Georgia's history. I'm honored to share this very special time with each of you.

Welcome to the new Georgia Department of Public Health, where together we will work every day to protect the lives of Georgians.  Public Health protects lives acutely, as when there is a disaster or a meningitis outbreak. We do it long-term with vaccinations and preventive care programs. We do it day-to-day with food, water, waste and safety net health care.  And we do it with the vision of something better.

I call on you today to renew your commitment, bring forward your best efforts and offer assistance to those around you.  To make it all possible, I invite you to meet our Executive Leadership Team, each member stepping forward and accepting the challenge to lead this new Department and make it the best in the country:

Sid Barrett is our General Counsel

  • Ken Bramlett is our Inspector General
  • Janie Brodnax is our Chief Operations Officer
  • Yvette Daniels is the Director of Health Promotion programs
  • Ryan Deal is our Director of Communications
  • James C. Howgate, II is our Chief of Staff
  • Carole Jakeway is the Director responsible for district and county operations
  • Dr. Pat O'Neal is the Director of Health Protection programs
  • Kate Pfirman is our new Chief Financial Officer
  • Perry Sims is our Chief Information Officer

It has been said that with the right people, anything can be accomplished.  I am convinced that these are the right people to take Public Health in Georgia to the next level.  On their behalf, accept my gratitude for your commitment that is so essential.

I know this period of transition is exciting but also demanding for everyone. Your continued professionalism and cooperation as we work together to build a cohesive and effective team across the Department is commendable.

We have a new Department.  We have new leadership.  We have a new opportunity.  And most importantly, we have each of you.  As your Commissioner, I am honored to work with you to make our vision of a healthy, safe and protected Georgia a reality.

Welcome to the new Georgia Department of Public Health.

Best wishes,


Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D.