County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced her appointment at a news conference Wednesday.
“I am thrilled to announce Dr. Debra Bogen as the new Health Department Director,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “We have many challenges ahead of us, but her focus on health equity and addressing those health issues where rates are racially disparate will allow us to continue moving towards a county that works for all. Just as importantly, she is energized and excited to jump into this position and serve our community. We are delighted to have her.”
She replaces former director Karen Hacker, who left to become head of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bogen was selected after a national search by a committee that included Dr. Edie Shapira, a member of the Allegheny County Board of Health, and Grant Oliphant, CEO of the Heinz Endowments.
“During Dr. Bogen’s decades of work in Pittsburgh, she has formed excellent partnerships, including with the Health Department and Human Services,” said Shapira. “These relationships will serve her and the county well as we work with our partners to make strides in improving public health. She is strong, brave, strategic and delightful and is a welcomed addition to the department.”
Bogen earned her medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and completed postgraduate work at Johns Hopkins University. She is a founder of the Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank and an advocate for maternal and child health issues.
She is expected to assume her duties on May 4.