Health & wellness

New public health commissioner named

Cheryl Bartlett, a nurse and longtime community health leader, was tapped Wednesday to be Massachusetts’ new public health commissioner.

Bartlett, a Hyannis resident, has been the state’s acting health commissioner since May, following the departure of acting commissioner Dr. Lauren Smith.

“Cheryl brings a comprehensive understanding of the Commonwealth’s public health needs, which will help her make necessary changes and enhancements at the department,” Massachusetts health secretary John Polanowicz, who chose Bartlett, said in a statement.


Bartlett has held several leadership positions at the department, according to the statement. She is a former director of the department’s Bureau of Community Health and Prevention and helped spearhead nationally recognized programs like the Mass in Motion anti-childhood obesity campaign.

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In the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, Bartlett led the state’s efforts to coordinate care between emergency responders and hospitals to ensure that the appropriate resources and beds were available to treat the influx of injured patients, the department said.

Bartlett began her career as a nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital and Nantucket Cottage Hospital, according to the department, and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Health Care Administration from Stonehill College.

Kay Lazar can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKayLazar.