Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Public Health
Renee D. Coleman-Mitchell serves as the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH). DPH is the state’s leader in public health policy and oversight. Ms. Coleman-Mitchell leads the department in its mission to protect and improve the health and safety of Connecticut residents. Prior to serving as commissioner, Ms. Coleman-Mitchell served as executive director of the newly rebranded Cougar Health Services at Washington State University (WSU), where she was responsible for the operations of the healthcare facility serving the physical, mental and emotional needs of WSU’s 30,000 students utilizing a public health approach. She integrated services to provide a student-centered holistic approach in the provision of health services while also rebranding the department. She developed a new mission, vision and guiding principles, and implemented a new electronic health records system for the entire department. She also generated an additional $1M in revenue annually and brought trans-health/gender affirmation services to the center for the student body.
Prior to her employment at WSU, Ms. Coleman-Mitchell was section chief at the Connecticut Department of Public Health for the Community, Family and Health Equity Section, where she was directly responsible for the fiscal and programmatic management for various public health programs primarily addressing chronic diseases, women’s and children’s health, school-based health and oral health, genomics and health equity. She was instrumental in establishing a statewide Injury Program, creating Connecticut’s first Violent Death Reporting System, and implementing culturally and linguistically appropriate standards throughout the department and for the state.
Ms. Coleman-Mitchell has served in various leadership roles, such as deputy director of health for the City of Hartford, director of the Meriden Community Health Center and as a commissioner on the City of Hartford’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Hartford Women. She was an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut’s Public Health Program teaching Maternal and Child Health. She has served in various capacities during her employment at DPH, as the department’s representative on the CT Public Health Association Board, the Child Poverty Council and the CT Medicaid Medical Assistance Program Oversight Council. Ms. Coleman-Mitchell has also served her previous community of Bloomfield, Connecticut, on the Board of Education, the Bloomfield Town Committee and the Library Board.
Ms. Coleman-Mitchell earned a bachelor’s degree at Connecticut College and a master’s degree in public health from Yale University School of Medicine.