HARTFORD, CT - Governor Ned Lamont on Friday announced that he has chosen Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell to serve as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH). A health care executive who previously worked at the agency, she has dedicated her career toward advocating for health and wellness needs.
“Our state’s public health department is responsible for overseeing a large array of healthcare needs, including natural disasters, chronic diseases, and emerging threats. And in these efforts, we want to ensure that no one in Connecticut is left behind when it comes to access to essential care,” Governor Lamont said. “Renée knows Connecticut’s public health community well and has the right experience and leadership skills to help achieve our goal of making our state even healthier. I look forward to having her on our team and am confident that, along with the capable staff at the agency, we will be ready to face these important challenges.”
Coleman-Mitchell currently serves as Executive Director for Cougar Health Services (formerly Health and Wellness Services, Counseling, and Psychological Services) at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. In this position, she has led the re-branding of Cougar Health Services and implemented an integrated service delivery model for health and wellness services at the university.
During her career, Coleman-Mitchell has spent several years serving at DPH in varying capacities, beginning in 1986 with the agency’s HIV/AIDS Division. She left the agency in 1994 to work at Community Health Center in Meriden, and then in 1995 became Deputy Director of Health for the City of Hartford. In 2002, she returned to DPH to work as Section Chief of the agency’s Community, Family, and Health Equity Section, where she served until 2016.
“It is truly a blessing to return to my home state and join the Lamont administration and the Department of Public Health team in the collaborative efforts to make a difference in addressing Connecticut’s public health needs – together with our state agencies, community providers, and public-private partnerships,” Coleman-Mitchell said.
She received a bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College, and a master’s degree in public health from the Yale University School of Medicine.
DPH serves as the center of a comprehensive network of public health services, and is a partner to local health departments, for which it provides coordination and a link to federal initiatives, training and certification, technical assistance and consultation, and specialty services such as risk assessment that are not available at the local level. The agency, a source of accurate, up-to-date health information, monitors the health status of Connecticut’s residents, sets health priorities, and evaluates the effectiveness of health initiatives.
Coleman-Mitchell will begin serving as the commissioner-designate on April 1. Her nomination will be sent to the General Assembly for its advice and consent.