Texas Department of Health Appoints Acting Commissioner

Texas Department of Health Appoints Acting Commissioner

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Health and Human Services Commission on Thursday named a new acting commissioner after Dr. John Hellerstedt announced his Sept. 30 retirement after nearly 14 years of service.

Dr. Jennifer Shuford will take over from Hellerstedt starting October 1. 1. She graduated from Colorado College in Colorado Springs with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry before earning her master’s degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She later earned her MD from Southwestern Medical School at the University of Texas.

According to the THHSC, Shuford is currently chief epidemiologist at the Texas Department of State Health Services. Before joining DSHS in 2017, Shuford practiced medicine in Austin as an infectious disease physician.

“Dr. Shuford’s passion for service, extensive experience and knowledge of public health will stand us in good stead as she steps into this role,” THHSC Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young said in a statement. I am confident that she will successfully lead DSHS through this transition period.”

According to the commission, Hellerstedt has been recognized as spearheading the state’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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