Nearly two years after taking over the department, Milwaukee Health Department Commissioner Dr. Jeanette Kowalik announced her resignation Wednesday morning.
“It is with mixed emotions that I have submitted my resignation to Mayor Tom Barrett to join the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a national leader in health policy,” Kowalik said in a statement. “As much as I love my hometown, I believe that I am limited due to factors that are out of my control. This was evident at multiple points in time through our pandemic response. From access to testing, promotion of masks/face coverings, gathering limits, orders, messaging and outreach for communities of color, and various threats to Health Officers.”
Kowalik has overseen the largest local public health department in the state of Wisconsin since September 2018. She said that she will join the organization Trust for America’s Health, a national leader in health policy, in Washington D.C. and that she was “deeply thankful for the opportunity to serve my hometown in this capacity.”
“My experience as a local Health Officer will be an asset to policy development at TFAH. I am confident that the MHD leadership team, which consists of five Deputy Commissioners and a Chief of Staff, are highly competent and able to continue to manage the department in my absence,” Kowalik said. “I will continue to provide support through the transition and believe that the progress made over the last two years will set the stage for continued growth and innovation under the next Commissioner.”