Pugh Names New Health Commissioner for City

    Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh (D) on Wednesday nominated Dr. Letitia Dzirasa to be the city’s new Health commissioner, effective March 11. She’ll replace Dr. Leana H. Wen, who left last fall to become president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

    For the past three years, Dzirasa has been health innovation officer at Fearless Solutions LLC, a Baltimore-based information technology company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Doctorate of Medicine from Meharry Medical College.

    Upon earning her doctorate, Dzirasa served as a resident physician at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, she worked as a general pediatrician at a primary care practice. Over the next few years, Dzirasa held various leadership positions at Baltimore Medical System.

    “We are fortunate to have attracted a candidate of Dr. Dzirasa’s caliber and broad experience to advance our agenda to improve the health prospects of all Baltimore residents,” Pugh said in a statement. “She will bring a commitment to reducing youth violence through evidence-based approaches, as well working to eliminate health disparities that persist, even while building on our progress to address the opioid epidemic and further improve access to critical care.”

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.