Sioux Falls announces new Public Health Director

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls has found its new Public Health Director. 

Mayor Paul TenHaken announced Thursday he’s appointing Dr. Charles Chima to replace Jill Franken. 

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

“Dr. Chima brings an extensive background in clinical and population health practice to our community,” TenHaken said in a news release. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has added a new spotlight to public health. Dr. Chima has been working in Mississippi and Texas, where he 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. 

“I am incredibly honored for this opportunity to serve the beautiful city of Sioux Falls,” Dr. Chima said in a release. “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. The FCH Board must approve the appointment and then his appointment will require consent from the city council.

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