Chima Appointed Next Public Health Director

Mayor Paul TenHaken today announced the appointment of Dr. Charles Chima as the next Public Health Director for the City of Sioux Falls. Chima’s appointment follows the recent retirement of former Public Health Director Jill Franken.

“Dr. Chima brings an extensive background in clinical and population health practice to our community,” said TenHaken. “Whether it’s dealing with a community-wide issue like COVID-19 or planning strategies to ensure the residents of Sioux Falls have the ability to achieve their best health, I know that Dr. Chima will bring great energy and perspective to our City team. Sioux Falls is lucky to have him, and we are excited for him and his family to join this community.”

Charles Chima, MD, DrPH, MS, trained and worked as a primary care physician in Nigeria. He obtained a master of science in epidemiology from the University of London. He subsequently obtained a doctor of public health degree in health services organization and completed further training in health informatics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Dr. Chima is a population health strategist who seeks innovative ways to improve health outcomes and improve efficiencies in health care using the population health approach. He has developed and managed population health programs in Mississippi, chaired the board of the Diabetes Coalition of Mississippi, and led large-scale initiatives for chronic disease prevention and control in Texas and Mississippi. He was also a primary care research fellow at the Family and Community Medicine Department at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Among other honors, Dr. Chima was inducted into the Delta Omega Honor Society in Public Health, in recognition of his outstanding accomplishment in public health scholarship, research and practice in the United States.

“I am incredibly honored for this opportunity to serve the beautiful city of Sioux Falls,” Dr. Chima said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the critical role of public health departments in protecting population health. As we emerge from the public health emergency, I look forward to working with the talented and dedicated staff at the City’s Health Department and the Mayor’s Office to build a resilient public health system and partner with stakeholders in the private and public sector to preserve, protect and promote the well-being of the Sioux Falls community.”

The Public Health Director also serves as the Falls Community Health (FCH) Program Director. Consistent with FCH governance authority, the FCH Board must approve the Program Director appointment. The FCH Board will meet on Friday, April 23, to address the Mayor’s appointment of Dr. Chima. Thereafter, Dr. Chima’s appointment will require advice and consent of the City Council. The date for City Council advice and consent remains pending.

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