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Derrick Neal Named Chief Public Health Officer for the City of Cambridge

November 22, 2021

Derrick Neal, a health administrator with extensive experience in public health and municipal government, has been named the new chief public health officer for the City of Cambridge. Mr. Neal will serve as a city department head, overseeing the nationally accredited Cambridge Public Health Department.
Most recently, Mr. Neal served as the executive director of the Williamson County and Cities Health District in Round Rock, Texas. Before that, he spent three years as director of the Victoria County Public Health Department in Victoria, Texas, as well as three years as the director of the City of Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District in Texas. Additionally, Mr. Neal worked for the City of Houston for a decade as an administration and special projects manager in the Public Works and Engineering Department and as the administrative supervisor of the city’s Health and Human Services Department.
“Throughout his career, Mr. Neal has demonstrated exceptional leadership ability, community engagement and collaboration, and competency managing local, state, and federal public health services and mandates in large public health departments,” said Assaad J. Sayah, MD, commissioner of public health for the City of Cambridge and CEO of Cambridge Health Alliance, which operates the Cambridge Public Health Department. “He is extremely accomplished and enthusiastic, and I look forward to working with him to improve public health in the City of Cambridge.”
The Cambridge Public Health Department focuses on community health and wellness, communicable disease prevention and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health, epidemiology, regulatory enforcement, and school health. As the department helps the city recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Neal will work to improve operations and processes. He will also expand the department's important work addressing the issues of inclusion and health equity, as well as the social determinants of health in the community. 
“I am incredibly proud of the Cambridge Public Health Department’s commitment to improving health outcomes for our residents, and for its tireless efforts on our COVID-19 pandemic response,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “I look forward to having Mr. Neal as a key member of the City’s team, and I am confident that under his leadership, our nationally accredited public health department will continue to excel and meet the evolving public health needs of our community.” 
Mr. Neal is the past president of the Texas Association of City and County Health Officials. He is a PhD candidate in public administration and has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois, Springfield.
The Cambridge Public Health Department is a city department administered by Cambridge Health Alliance. CPHD protects and promotes the health of everyone in Cambridge through services, information, policies, and regulations. As a nationally accredited health department, CPHD meets rigorous national standards for delivering quality programs and services to the community.  Main focus areas are communicable disease prevention and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health, epidemiology, population health, regulatory enforcement, and school health. The department oversees the city’s community health assessment and community health improvement plan, multi-year initiatives that engage partners and residents in helping all people in Cambridge live healthier lives. 
Cambridge Health Alliance is an academic community health system committed to providing high-quality care in Cambridge, Somerville and Boston’s metro-north communities. CHA has expertise in primary care, specialty care and mental health/substance use services, as well as caring for diverse and complex populations. It includes two hospital campuses, a network of primary care and specialty practices and the Cambridge Public Health Dept. CHA patients have seamless access to advanced care through the system’s affiliation with Beth Israel Lahey Health. CHA is a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate and is also affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Medicine.

Suzy Feinberg, MPH
Public Information Officer

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Derrick Neal
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