DeKalb Health director leaves for job at White House

She has led the DeKalb County Board of Health for more than 16 years, but next month, Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford will start her new role at the White House.

The Biden administration chose Dr. Ford to serve as Special Assistant to the President for Public Health and Science. She will work as part of the White House Domestic Policy Council under Susan Rice.

"I don't know that I won't be back, but I just could not, as they say in Hamilton, I could not throw away this shot," Dr. Ford told DeKalb County Commissioners during a meeting Tuesday. "This is so bittersweet."

During her time in DeKalb, Dr. Ford focused heavily on health inequities within the minority community.

"We've done some amazing things in this agency that I pray will continue because they are transformational for these communities," said Dr. Ford.

She also spent time on an interim basis with the Fulton County Board of Health and the Georgia Department of Public Health.

"DeKalb County's loss is America's gain," said DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond. "We are so proud of Dr. Ford. She's a visionary leader, a dedicated physician and she's done yeoman's work here in DeKalb for the last 16 years and especially over the last 12 months has fought to mitigate the spread of COVID-19."

According to DeKalb County, Dr. Ford begins will start her work in Washington D.C. on May 1.

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