Daily Record Staff//March 31, 2023
//March 31, 2023
Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, the first African American woman to become city health commissioner, has been widely praised for her leadership in city government during the pandemic.
The pandemic highlights how critical public health is in our daily lives, said Dzirasa, a pediatrician named commissioner in March 2019. “The pandemic impacted every aspect of our lives from our ability to work to our ability to engage with our loved ones.
“The pandemic also put the spotlight on the significant disparities and health inequities plaguing our country. In my role, it served as a reminder that none of us can address the health equity gaps alone. Collaboration and collective impact are crucial to addressing the city’s public health needs.”
What’s your best advice for someone who aspires to your job?
One of the most critical attributes of any leader is emotional intelligence with excellent communication skills. No leader does this work alone, at least not effectively. Building teams, leading teams, and being a part of the team is critical.
Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?
Growing up, my mom and grandmother. They believed in me before I believed in myself and they both sacrificed tremendously so that I could sit here today. Nowadays, it’s probably my husband and my son. Watching my son grow, and wanting to set an example for him as he grows up has a strong influence on how I live my life. My husband brings a positive infectious energy to anything he does and that is very inspiring on the hard days.