Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz has appointed Cheryl Bartlett, RN, a longtime community health leader, as commissioner of the states Department of Public Health.
Bartlett, who took over the post in June, was named acting commissioner in May.
Cheryl brings a comprehensive understanding of the commonwealths public health needs, which will help her make necessary changes and enhancements at the department, Polanowicz said in a news release. As commissioner, Cheryl will advance policies that strengthen our oversight and protect the safety and well-being of all people.
Bartlett is a former director of the departments Bureau of Community Health and Prevention and helped spearhead nationally recognized programs including the Mass in Motion campaign to combat childhood obesity.
Massachusetts is nationally recognized in many areas of public health, she said in the release. I look forward to working with the [Gov. Deval] Patrick administration and Secretary Polanowicz to bring forward new ideas to strengthen our programs and further ensure the health of our residents.
In the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings in April, Bartlett led the states efforts to coordinate care between emergency responders and hospitals to ensure the appropriate resources and beds were available to treat the influx of injured patients.
This spring, Bartlett helped to advance medical marijuana regulations designed to provide appropriate access to patients, while maintaining a secure system. She also led the efforts to develop a fee structure for a self-financed medical marijuana industry that supports patient access without relying on taxpayer resources.
Bartlett began her career as a nurse at Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Hospital and Nantucket (Mass.) Cottage Hospital, where she rose to the position of clinical services director. She has worked for numerous community health agencies in the area and founded the Nantucket AIDS Network.