Cheryl Bartlett Appointed DPH Commissioner

On June 26th, Cheryl Bartlett was appointed to serve as Commissioner of Public Health, after serving since May as Acting Commissioner. MPHA is thrilled to have Cheryl at the helm of DPH during this incredibly important time, and we offer our congratulations to her!

Cheryl is a nurse who has dedicated her entire professional career to improving the health and wellbeing of communities.  Cheryl has wide ranging set of experiences as a health provider, advocate, manager, and policymaker – in areas as diverse as homeless services, infectious disease, and obesity prevention.  In particular, we at MPHA have had the pleasure to work closely with Cheryl on chronic disease prevention efforts, where she has been a national leader in the development of community-based approaches to improving healthy eating and active living.

We look forward to partnering with Commissioner Bartlett and Secretary Polanowicz in our shared mission to promote and protect the health of all Massachusetts residents.

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The Administration’s press release is here:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Press Release


BOSTON – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 – Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz today announced Cheryl Bartlett, a nurse and longtime community health leader, as commissioner of the Department of Public Health (DPH). Bartlett has served as acting DPH commissioner since May.

“Cheryl brings a comprehensive understanding of the Commonwealth’s public health needs, which will help her make necessary changes and enhancements at the Department,” said Secretary Polanowicz. “As commissioner, Cheryl will advance policies that strengthen our oversight and protect the safety and wellbeing of all people.”

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

“Massachusetts is nationally recognized in many areas of public health,” said Commissioner Bartlett. “I look forward to working with the Patrick Administration and Secretary Polanowicz to bring forward new ideas to strengthen our programs and further insure the health of our residents.”

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.

This spring, Bartlett helped to advance medical marijuana regulations that provide appropriate access to patients, while maintaining a secure system that keeps our communities safe. The regulations have been called a model for other states to follow. 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 Hospital and Nantucket Cottage Hospital, where she rose to the position of clinical services director. A resident of Hyannis, she has worked for numerous community health agencies on the Cape and founded the Nantucket AIDS Network

She received her nursing training at Yale New Haven Hospital School of Nursing and Quinnipiac University, and also graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Health Care Administration from Stonehill College.


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