The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced today, July 27, that Dr. Puthiery Va will be the next Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. She will begin in the role starting Aug. 28.

Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew appointed Dr. Va following a national search, based on Dr. Va’s extensive range of experience in primary clinical care, epidemiology, and public health emergency response, having most recently led the successful COVID-19 response in the Navajo Nation.

Dr. Va will be returning to Maine having received her medical degree from the University of New England. She is currently the Director of the Division of Public Health in Chinle, Arizona, serving the population of the Indian Health Service (IHS) Navajo Area Chinle Service Unit.

Gov. Janet Mills said:

I am excited to welcome Dr. Va back to Maine to lead our CDC. As the last four years have shown, a strong public health system is crucial to protecting and improving the lives, health, and livelihoods of Maine people. Dr. Va’s depth and breadth of experience position her well to assume the helm of the Maine CDC and strengthen our public health infrastructure.

Prior to joining the Indian Health Service, Dr. Va served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the U.S. CDC. She led a team examining the impact of dietary sodium intake on health, particularly its connection to chronic diseases. She also played a crucial role in various response teams, including the Zika Virus International Task Force and a mumps outbreak response team in Arkansas.

Dr. Va replaces Nirav D. Shah, who was appointed Principal Deputy Director at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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