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DHSS Press Release

Molly Magarik, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

DPH Media Contact:
Tim Turane

Date: May 13, 2022


DOVER, DE (MAY 13, 2022) - Today, Dr. Karyl Rattay is announcing that she will be leaving her role as Director of the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) effective June 30, 2022. Dr. Rattay assumed her position in 2009, during the H1N1 influenza pandemic, and is the nation's longest serving Public Health Director.

As Delaware's State Health Official, Dr. Rattay leads nearly 1,000 employees who promote health, reduce health inequities, and protect Delawareans from disease, environmental hazards, and public health emergencies.

"It has been the greatest honor of my lifetime to serve Delawareans in this role, said Dr. Rattay. "I am grateful for the opportunity to have served under Governor Carney, and Governor Markell before him. I could not be prouder of the DPH team and what we have accomplished together over the past 13 years."

"When you work with someone through a crisis, you really see what they're made of. Dr. Rattay is smart, steady, focused, and committed," said Governor John Carney. Most importantly though, she is kind and compassionate. Her style of leadership and her work ethic are what helped Delaware make it through this pandemic. And the work Dr. Rattay did at Public Health in the decade leading up to the pandemic is why her team was ready and able to step up and manage this crisis. We will miss Dr. Rattay as a member of our team and I am personally grateful to her for all she did to lead us through this once-in-a-generation public health crisis."

"In her 13 years as our Director of the Division of Public Health, Dr. Karyl Rattay has been driven by a singular focus: How could she and her team improve and protect the health and well-being of the Delawareans they serve," said Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Molly Magarik. "Her values, her work ethic and her passion for this work have never wavered. She believes in meeting communities where they are, listening to stakeholders across the spectrum, and building public health responses that are tailored to the populations we are serving. On behalf of the employees of DHSS and the people of Delaware, I offer my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Rattay her leadership, her innovative spirit, and her commitment to our state."

Dr. Rattay says leading the state through the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years - the greatest public health crisis in a century - has tested those in public health departments professionally and personally. She indicated that while she is not ready to announce her next role, she is excited about the new opportunities in front of her and believes this is a good time to transition the Division to its next leader.

During her tenure at DPH Dr. Rattay and her team have:

Dr. Rattay has earned multiple honors and awards. In 2019, she was awarded the prestigious Arthur T. McCormack Award by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) for her leadership and contributions as a state health official. She also received the Vision of Peace award from the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence; the Health Professional of the Year award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness; the President's Award three times from former Medical Society of Delaware presidents; the Medal of Honor Award from atTAcK addiction and was honored by Governor Carney as the longest-serving state health official in the nation.

She has been named as one of "Delaware's Most Influential" individuals for 2020 and 2021. Dr. Rattay chairs the Healthy Babies Subcommittee for ASTHO and is a Board member of ASTHO and the Public Health Foundation. She is the Chair of Delaware's Addiction Action Committee, Co-Chair of the Overdose System of Care Committee, and a current member and former president of the Delaware Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline.

Dr. Rattay earned a Medical Doctorate from the Medical University of Ohio in 1992 and a Master of Science in Epidemiology from the University of Maryland in 2001. She completed her Pediatric Residency at Georgetown University and a Preventive Medicine and Public Health Residency training program at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Rattay is board-certified in pediatrics and practiced pediatrics for 14 years. Between September 2001 and June 2004, she served as a senior public health advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary of Health in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Department of Health and Human Services, where she had a leadership role in the President's Healthier U.S. Initiative.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.