Note from the Acting Commissioner: My First Week

Dr. Dzirasa

It has been a whirlwind week of attending my first State of the City Address, the swearing in ceremony for Commissioner Harris, and meeting some of the talented team at the Baltimore City Health Department. I am excited to be joining the BCHD family and I am honored to be appointed the first African-American woman Health Commissioner in the agency’s history.

I have called Baltimore home since 2011 after relocating here for my husband’s job.  We thought our stay would be for the short term but we both fell in love with this amazing City. I love the resilience of the residents and I am energized by the community’s, diversity, vibrancy and hope. I look forward to meeting and connecting with every staff member over the next few weeks and I can’t wait to begin to meet our partners and residents at various community events.

As you may have read, I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in biological sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and received my Doctorate of Medicine from Meharry Medical College. One of my college mentors used to say, “To whom much is given, much is required.” I have been blessed with the opportunity to pursue my lifelong dream of a career in medicine and public health because of the many sacrifices of those who came before me. As such, I consider it both my life’s calling and an obligation to serve those most under-resourced. I firmly believe that equitable healthcare is a basic human right and I will advocate for equity on behalf of all our residents. 

I believe in the mission of this historic agency, “To protect health, eliminate disparities, and ensure the well-being of every Baltimorean through education, advocacy, and direct service delivery.”  The work being done at the health department, on behalf of Baltimoreans, has stood the test of time and I know we will continue to serve our residents well.

It is my professional honor to join the team and I can’t wait to contribute my vision and talents to such an awesome group of public health professionals.

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