Whats Happenening Locally

Presenting Florida Public Health Heroes

Jun 01, 2023

The Florida Department of Health is pleased to recognize 125 years of Florida public health by presenting Florida Public Health Heroes

In these pages, we honor those public health professionals who have tirelessly sought to improve health and quality of life for the people of Florida.

Over 125 years, Florida has grown from thousands to 19.5 million with 1.8 million visitors on any given day. Once thought uninhabitable because of heat and pestilence, the Sunshine State is the third most populous in the nation and the premier vacation destination in the world.

The State Board of Health, created by the legislature on February 20, 1889, was born in crisis: yellow fever was a recurrent nightmare, decimating whole cities and robbing life from Florida families. Yet by 1905, yellow fever had its last gasp as an epidemic. Public health efforts through disease control and environmental safety opened all of Florida to opportunity.

These stories bring to life the broad scope of the public health profession by highlighting the work of those who dedicated their lives to making a difference for the families of Florida. John Armstrong, MD, F.A.C.S.

State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health for Florida

John H. Armstrong, MD, FACS, was appointed by Governor Rick Scott and confirmed by the Florida Senate as State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health for Florida. Previously, he was Chief Medical Officer of the University of South Florida (USF) Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, Surgical Director of the USF Health American College of Surgeons Accredited Education Institute, and Associate Professor of Surgery at the USF Morsani College of Medicine. He was also Trauma Medical Director at Shands at the University of Florida Medical Center in Gainesville.

Dr. Armstrong is a graduate of Princeton University, the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.