PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dr. Cheryl Bettigole is now the city of Philadelphia’s Health Commissioner, Mayor Jim Kenney announced Thursday. Dr. Bettigole has been the acting Health Commissioner since May 2021.

Dr. Bettigole has been the city’s director of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention within the Department of Public Health since 2015. She was elevated to the acting Health Commissioner role this summer, focusing on the city’s COVID response. She also led the city’s health department efforts on making medical services available to Afghan evacuees at Philadelphia International Airport.

Mayor Kenney praised Dr. Bettigole in the announcement, saying in part:

“Throughout her entire career, Dr. Bettigole has demonstrated a deep commitment to prioritizing equity, access, and prevention in public health. I’m confident that with her experience, vision, and steadfast leadership, we’ve found the best person to lead the Health Department as we work urgently on multiple fronts to ensure the health and wellbeing of all residents.”

Before her government work, Dr. Bettigole was Chief Medical Officer of Complete Care Health Network in New Jersey, as well as a family physician and clinical director with Philadelphia’s City Health Centers. “I am honored by this opportunity to serve our city and to further our goal of promoting and protecting the health of all Philadelphians,” Dr. Bettigole said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing this work with my colleagues and our many valued partners throughout the city. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of equity, access, and the use of a data-informed approach in every aspect of public health, and I am committed to championing those priorities in the work ahead.”