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Newton mayor names new Health and Human Services commissioner

Newton will have a new leader for its Health and Human Services Department as the city continues to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, according to Mayor Ruthanne Fuller.

Linda Walsh, who has been serving as the department’s deputy commissioner, is a registered nurse with a degree in nursing from Boston College. Walsh has worked for the city since 1987.

“For literally decades, she has been our ‘go to’ on so many issues, from public health, school health and school nursing, emergency health services, restaurant health and safety, employee wellness, human rights, and so much more,” Fuller said in a statement.

Walsh succeeds Deborah Youngblood, who left Newton to serve as executive director of Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast, according to Fuller.


Newton’s City Council is scheduled to formally vote on Walsh’s appointment as commissioner during its meeting on Monday, Dec. 6, according to the city clerk’s office.

Walsh’s team in the Newton Health and Human Services Department helped other city departments “reimagine themselves” during the pandemic and adapt to the health crisis, according to Fuller.

“She understands the science of public health and easily translates those concepts into successful practices and protocols that meet the needs of the people on the ground in our schools and workplaces. Just as important, she is a caring person, positive, empathetic and compassionate,” Fuller said.

John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.