Ron DeSantis Names Dr. Joseph Ladapo as Florida’s Surgeon General

On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Dr. Joseph Ladapo as Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health.

Ladapo was recently granted a professorship at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine. Prior to joining UF, he served as an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) caring for hospitalized patients. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Ladapo also holds an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

“I am pleased to announce that Dr. Joseph Ladapo will lead the Florida Department of Health as our state’s next Surgeon General,” said DeSantis. “Dr. Ladapo comes to us by way of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA with a superb background. He has had both a remarkable academic and medical career with a strong emphasis in health policy research. Dr. Ladapo will bring great leadership to the Department of Health. I would also like to thank both Dr. Scott Rivkees and Dr. Shamarial Roberson for their hard work on behalf of all Floridians.”

“Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo is an excellent choice to serve as our next Surgeon General,” said Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez. “As a professor with two degrees from Harvard, Dr. Ladapo has the resume and mindset to effectively serve the people of Florida at the helm of our public health agency. Through his service to our state, we will continue Florida’s work to further our public health goals.”

“I am honored to have been chosen by Governor DeSantis to serve as Florida’s next Surgeon General,” said Ladapo. “We must make health policy decisions rooted in data and not in fear. From California, I have observed the different approaches taken by governors across the country and I have been impressed by Governor DeSantis’ leadership and determination to ensure that Floridians are afforded all opportunities to maintain their health and wellness, while preserving their freedoms as Americans. It is a privilege to join his team and serve the people of Florida.”

Ladapo is a physician and health policy researcher whose primary research interests include clinical trial interventions and reducing the population burden of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Ladapo was recently granted a professorship at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine. Prior to joining UF, he was an Associate Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine caring for hospitalized patients. Previously, he served as a faculty member in the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine and as a Staff Fellow at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Ladapo’s research program, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, focuses on patient-centered approaches to improving the health of individuals evaluated for coronary artery disease; and behavioral economic interventions to promote sustainable cardiovascular health, including among adults with HIV. He also leads the health economic and quality of life evaluation of multiple NIH-funded randomized trials focused on cardiovascular disease and tobacco cessation. His national honors include the Daniel Ford Award for health services and outcomes research, and he was also a regular columnist for the Harvard Focus during medical school and residency, where he discussed his experiences on the medical wards and perspectives on health policy issues.

Ladapo graduated from Wake Forest University and received his MD from Harvard Medical School and his PhD in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He completed his clinical training in internal medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Ladapo was born in Nigeria. He immigrated to the United States when he was 5 years old, along with his family, as his father, a microbiologist, came to the country to continue his studies.

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