USF professor Dennis Cookro named interim Deputy Secretary at Dept. of Health

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Physician Dennis V. Cookro, an associate professor of medicine at the University of South Florida, has been appointed as the state’s interim deputy secretary for health and deputy state health officer for Children’s Medical Services, the Department of Health announced Wednesday via the News Service of Florida.

The appointment comes after Deputy Secretary Steven Harris took a job last month as director of medical services for the state Department of Corrections. Cookro has held a number of public-health positions, including as director of three county health departments, according to Wednesday’s announcement. At USF, he is an associate professor in the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine. State Surgeon General John Armstrong, who was named in April as the head of the Department of Health, also served on the USF faculty before his appointment.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.