Gov. Rick Scott removes 'acting' from surgeon general title for Celeste Philip, ex-Volusia County deputy health exec

Dr. Celeste Philip / Headline Surfer®
Zika virus in Florida / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® /
The permanent appointment of Dr. Celeste Philip as Florida surgeon general comes at a critical time with the zika virus concern in Florida. The video is a public service mesaage from the State of Florida on how to deal with the virus.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott today removed the word "acting" from the job description for Dr. Celeste Philip, the state surgeon general and secretary of the Florida Department of Health.

Philip has served as Florida's acting surgeon general since March. She's also a one-time assistant director of the Volusia County Health Department.

Dr. Celeste Philip / Headline Surfer®
Photos for Headline Surfer® /
The permanent appointment of Dr. Celeste Philip as Florida surgeon general comes at a critical time with the zika virus concern in Florida. The video is a public service mesaage from the State of Florida on how to deal with the virus.
 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott today removed the word "acting" from the job description for Dr. Celeste Philip, the state surgeon general and secretary of the Florida Department of Health.

Philip has served as Florida's acting surgeon general since March. She's also a one-time assistant director of the Volusia County Health Department.

Philip left her Volusia County position in 2013, when she accepted the position of Florida interim deputy secretary for health.

The governor said he was proud to make the appointment of Philip permanent, saying in part, "Since becoming acting surgeon general this spring, Dr. Philip has met with community health leaders on a statewide tour to discuss how DOH can continue to collaborate on improving the health of families and visitors in our state. Dr. Philip also oversaw the recent launch of DOH's New HIV Data Center and Florida's Healthy Babies Initiative."

Scott continued, "Dr. Philip has also been working diligently with county health departments and local mosquito control districts to ensure our state is ready to combat the possible spread of the Zika virus. I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Philip and DOH to protect public health in Florida."

Gov. Rick Scott / Headline Surfer®Gov. Rick Scott continued, "Dr. (Celeste) Philip has also been working diligently with county health departments and local mosquito control districts to ensure our state is ready to combat the possible spread of the Zika virus. I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Philip and DOH to protect public health in Florida." 

Dr. Philip said in response to the appointment that she was "honored to be named state surgeon general and secretary of DOH" and was looking forward to continuing to serve Florida's families and visitors.

"With our state and local partners, we will maintain our commitment to addressing community health needs, developing HIV reduction and prevention strategies and preparing our state to combat viruses like Zika," Philip said. "I know Florida is positioned to be a national leader in public health and I am dedicated to working toward this goal on behalf of Florida's residents and visitors."

And Dr. Phillips' reference to Florida's residents and vistors is especially significant with the Zika virus knocking on Florida's doorstep, esprecially since it is a global tourist destination.

Zika virus in Florida / Headline Surfer®FAST FACTS: Zika

• The Zika fever is a mild febrile illness caused by a mosquito-borne virus similar to those that cause dengue and West Nile virus infection.

• It has been identified in several countries in Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean since 2015.

• Outbreaks have previously been reported in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Local transmission has been reported in Puerto Rico, but not elsewhere in the US.

•However, cases of Zika fever have been reported in travelers returning to the United States.

• In the U.S. mainland, Florida is the front line in the Zika fight. More than 100 cases have been reported, more than any other state. So far, all Florida Zika patients have contracted the virus from travel-related exposure.

Did You Know?

Dr. Celeste Philip has devoted her career to public health and has served in various roles within the Florida Department of Health since 2008, including three county health departments, and as interim bureau chief for the DOH Bureau of Communicable Diseases. In addition to formerly being the assistant director for public health in Volusia County and medical director for DOH in Polk County, where she served on the board of the Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine. 
Achievements and education: Dr. Philip is board certified in family medicine as well as preventive medicine and public health. She is president-elect of the American Heart Association's six-state Greater Southeast Affiliate and served at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an epidemic intelligence service officer. 

Dr. Philip graduated from Howard University in Washington DC. She later received a Master of Public Health in maternal and child health and a Doctor of Medicine from Loma Linda University in California. She completed her family medicine residency at Florida Hospital in Orlando and preventive medicine residency with CDC.

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.