Governor Lamont Announces Appointment of Deidre Gifford as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Public Health
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is appointing Department of Social Services Commissioner Deidre Gifford to serve as acting commissioner of the Department of Public Health, effective immediately.
The governor thanked Public Health Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell for her service to the State of Connecticut. Commissioner Coleman-Mitchell first joined the Department of Public Health in 1986, serving in several roles until 1994, and returned to the agency in the spring of 2019 to serve as commissioner.
“I appreciate Commissioner Coleman-Mitchell’s willingness to join my administration and lead one of our most vital state agencies, which is responsible for overseeing so many critical public health needs,” Governor Lamont said. “Her service over the last year has been a great deal of help, particularly in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic that has brought disruption to many throughout the world. I thank her for her advocacy on behalf of the health and safety of our residents, and for being a dedicated partner in service to the State of Connecticut.”
Prior to joining the Department of Social Services, from 2016 to 2019 Commissioner Gifford served as deputy director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Washington, DC, where she oversaw the full scope of Medicaid functions at the federal agency. From 2012 to 2015, she served as Medicaid Director in the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and from 2005 to 2011 she was co-founder and project director of Rhode Island’s multi-payer Medical Home demonstration, one of the nation’s first and most enduring multi-payer payment reform initiatives. Commissioner Gifford earned a B.S. in public health from UCLA; an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in New York; and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology and received an M.P.H. in epidemiology at UCLA. Over the course of her career, she has held faculty appointments at the UCLA and Brown Schools of Public Health.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has required every state agency to even more closely align with each other and sync our operations to deliver a coordinated response for the people of Connecticut. I am determined to continue these efforts for the duration of our emergency response and beyond,” Commissioner Gifford said.