WV DHHR Bureau of Public Health announces new leader

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Bureau of Public Health has a new State Health Officer and Commissioner.

State health officials announced on Friday the appointment of Catherine C. Slemp, MD, MPH, as the permanent State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health, effective immediately.

Slemp previously served as the interim leader after Dr. Rahul Gupta resigned in November 2018, and has worked for the state's Bureau of Public Health since 1994.

She started as the founding director of what is now the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and directed the state's emergency preparedness efforts.

From 2002 through 2011, she served as the Acting State Health Officer for the state's Bureau of Public Health.

Before returning to DHHR in 2018, Dr. Slemp served as a public health consultant for governmental, academic, professional and community organizations and as a relief and development coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia.

Dr. Slemp holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Princeton University, a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, and an M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine.

She is a published author and has served on numerous boards for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to work with dedicated, creative, and mission-focused colleagues at DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health,” said Dr. Slemp. “These individuals, together with many phenomenal partners, work endlessly to build healthier futures for West Virginians, and I am privileged to continue assisting in this mission in a permanent capacity.”