On Feb. 6, Gov. Tony Evers announced
he has appointed the former City of Milwaukee Public Health Commissioner, Kirsten Johnson, to serve as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). According to a press release from the Governor’s office, Johnson has over 20 years of experience as a public health leader and, prior to serving the City of Milwaukee, she led the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department for more than a decade.
“Over the past 20 years of my career in public health, I have worked to address the challenges and health disparities facing Wisconsin’s rural, urban, and suburban communities alike—disparities that were laid bare by the pandemic,” said Johnson. “I am excited and honored to join Gov. Evers’ administration to lead DHS, where I look forward to using my expertise and knowledge to continue this important work.”
Johnson also has Congressional experience working on the House Committee on Ways and Means as an advisor to former Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI). Johnson has her master’s degree in public health from Tulane University of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and holds certifications as a public health professional and certified education specialist.
“WHA has a history of maintaining critical partnerships with DHS secretaries to support our state’s hospitals and health systems as they care for millions of Wisconsinites each year,” said WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding. “Secretary-designate Johnson has an impressive background, and we look forward to meeting her and working with her on a broad array of issues. The challenges are significant, as are the opportunities.”
Johnson’s appointment is effective Feb. 27, 2023.