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Dr. Joxel Garcia, MD, MBA, currently serves as the Director for the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH). Under his leadership, the department has embarked on several innovative public health initiatives to improve and protect the health of residents, visitors and those doing business in the District of Columbia. His health priorities include ensuring the District of Columbia receives national public health accreditation. He has also spearheaded the development of an infant mortality reduction program in collaboration with several private and public sector community partners and funders. Dr. Garcia also leads the charge in reducing/eliminating cervical cancer and other health disparities. His priorities also include creating International Health Centers of Excellence, to establish the District of Columbia as the premiere destination for research, training and medical tourism by the year 2015.
Dr. Garcia is committed to public health efforts to serve District of Columbia residents. His passion for health equality and identifying the social determinants of health in order to mitigate disparities is evident in the department’s policy, programs and initiatives.
Prior to his appointment to the Department of Health, Dr. Garcia served as the 13th Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As the Assistant Secretary for Health, he was the primary advisor to the Secretary of Health on matters involving the nation’s public health system and health science. He also oversaw the U.S. Public Health Service and its Commissioned Corps and served with the rank of Admiral. In this position, Dr. Garcia was the highest ranking public health officer in the US. He also served as the US Representative to the Executive Board of the World Health Organization.
Dr. Garcia’s experience in public health encompasses health care systems, bioterrorism, public health preparedness and disaster mitigation, health policy, and global health affairs. Dr. Garcia served as the Commissioner of Public Health for the state of Connecticut and served as Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office Western Hemisphere for the World Health Organization. Most recently, he served as the President of the Ponce School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Ponce, and Puerto Rico.
A native of Puerto Rico, Dr. Garcia currently resides in Washington, D.C.