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MKE Health Commissioner Kowalik resigns, takes new position in D.C. with health policy organization

Posted at 9:39 AM, Sep 02, 2020

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik has submitted her resignation to Mayor Tom Barrett and has taken a position in Washington D.C. with a health policy organization.

Citizens of Milwaukee and local leaders have looked to the Milwaukee Health Department and Commissioner Kowalik for advice on handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kowalik has spear-headed many health updates and has been at the forefront of many policies in place to help protect Milwaukeeans.

Now, however, she is taking her talents to a national level. She has submitted her resignation in Milwaukee and is taking a position with the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a national leader in health policy.

"I have decided to redirect my energy and skills to upstream approaches that will improve the health of millions of Americans. I am excited to join TFAH’s leadership team as Director of Policy Development and return to Washington D.C.," said Kowalik in a press release.

During her time with the Milwaukee Health Department, Kowalik worked to declare racism a public health crisis and "acknowledged how historic underfunding of public health in this country has negatively impacted our ability to manage the pandemic."

She helped stabilize the Milwaukee Health Department in her two years of service and issued several orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

“I am grateful to Commissioner Kowalik for her dedication and leadership, especially during this pandemic. She is leaving the department in a solid position to continue to make progress. I wish her the very best as she advances to her new position," said Mayor Tom Barrett.

She has created a strong foundation for whoever becomes the next Commissioner. I hope that her successor has the same foresight, decisiveness, dedication to public health, and love for Milwaukee as Dr. Kowalik," said Caroline Gomez- Tom, City of Milwaukee Board of Health President.

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