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Mayor announces the departure of Barbara Ferrer

Search committee composed of BPHC board members and others to be established


Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced this week that Dr. Barbara Ferrer will step down from her position as Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission and will accept a new role as chief strategy officer with the Kellogg Foundation. For more than half of her 25-year public service career, Ferrer has led the city’s work to improve the health of all residents, particularly those most vulnerable.

Ferrer served first as its deputy director of BPHC, and has served as executive director since 2007. Under her leadership, Boston has seen improvements in childhood obesity rates, a decrease in asthma rates in public housing, a decline in smoking rates, and a significant decline in the infant mortality rate for black infants.

During her time as the executive director, Ferrer has secured federal and state funding to support critical public health infrastructure and community based programs, with over $35 million awarded in the last year alone. Ferrer’s commitment to make timely public health data accessible to the city’s healthcare and public health institutions as well as to residents has led to the development of evidence-based programs that allow for progress to be measured.

“Barbara Ferrer has been a vital member of our city’s leadership team,” Walsh said in a statement. “She has made countless contributions and has played an instrumental role directing initiatives that have improved every aspect of health in Boston — from decreasing infant mortality rates to improving access to substance abuse treatment.”

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve under both Mayor Menino and Mayor Walsh as the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission,” Ferrer said. “I am proud of what the BPHC staff, our partners, and the city, have accomplished with and for Boston’s residents. I know that I leave the Commission in a strong position to continue its important work.

A formal search committee will be established following Dr. Ferrer’s departure on October 3, 2014. The committee, co-chaired by BPHC Chair Dr. Paula Johnson and Dr. Howard Koh, will be composed of BPHC Board members as well as non-board members. During the search process, Dr. Huy Nguyen, medical director for the Commission, will serve as Interim Executive Director.

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