October 21, 2022

Deborah Odunze Welcomed as Cambridge Public Health Department’s First Deputy Chief

October 21, 2022

Deborah Ngozi Odunze, DNP(c), MSN, RN, CCM, joined the Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD) in August 2022 as the department’s first deputy chief public health officer.

“I am thrilled to have Ms. Odunze on my executive leadership team,” said Derrick Neal, the city’s Chief Public Health Officer and director of the Cambridge Public Health Department. “We have been working closely together to assure the successful achievement of CPHD’s operational  goals and to bring a renewed focus on advancing health equity and inclusion in Cambridge.”

In her new role, Ms. Odunze has high-level involvement in the administration of the department’s daily operations and strategic planning initiatives. She is responsible for overall financial management of the department, and oversees CPHD’s human resources functions and performance management processes. She will play an active role in driving change and improvement strategies, including developing and expanding programming. Ms. Odunze will represent CPHD leadership at local, regional, and statewide meetings, and stand in for Mr. Neal as needed.

Ms. Odunze is a result-driven healthcare executive with expertise in healthcare operations leadership, telehealth, and population services. She has held executive leadership roles in digital health tech incubator companies, health plans, hospitals, and provider organizations. She has led teams at organizations such as Podimetrics, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Vibra Hospital, and United Health Care. Her areas of expertise include business process improvement, strategic operations planning, team building, and financial and budget management.  She is also a registered nurse.

Beyond her extensive clinical and operational expertise, Ms. Odunze brings a passion for public health and community engagement.

“The pandemic put a big strain on the public health infrastructure,” said Ms. Odunze. “We’re now in the position of looking beyond the crisis and deciding where we want to go post-Covid. It’s an opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to Cambridge residents and position ourselves to anticipate and respond to community needs. My job is ensuring that the CPHD infrastructure is in top shape.” 

 Ms. Odunze believes in the power of community. She serves as an advisory board member for the Colorado-based Latino Leadership Institute Entrepreneur Access Program, where she provides business mentorship for Latino and BIPOC business leaders. She also serves as a board member for StudentsCare, a Florida-based non-profit organization that connects college students with hospitalized children and isolated seniors for support. She is a member of Pentecostal Tabernacle in Cambridge, where she volunteers in several ministries.

She is a Doctor of Nursing Practice candidate at Regis College and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Master of Science degree focused on Clinical Nurse Leadership. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.