City of Phoenix Announces Hiring of First Public Health Advisor

Phoenix City Manager Jeff Barton announced Monday that Nicole Dupuis-Witt would become the city’s first public health advisor on the leadership team beginning October 17.

“The addition of public health expertise to our leadership team strengthens our ability to address public health needs across the City,” Barton said in a statement. “Public health is a central tenant [sic] to many of the City’s top priorities including heat response and mitigation, housing and homelessness, food systems, senior services, transportation and more. I am confident that Nicole’s experience and data-driven approach will further position Phoenix as a resilient and prosperous place to live, work and play.”

The City Council approved the position in April 2022. Dupuis-Witt received her undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona and a master’s in public health from the University of North Carolina. She served as the chief executive officer for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in Ontario, Canada, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The city shared that Dupuis-Witt has over 15 years of experience leading transformative health initiatives in Phoenix. Notably, she has led comprehensive approaches to complex issues such as the opioid crisis, community food insecurity, and mental health.

“I am incredibly excited to return to Arizona and join the team at the City of Phoenix. It is an honor and privilege to be selected to serve the City as its first Public Health Advisor,” Dupuis-Witt said in the city’s statement. “While COVID-19 will continue to be an important public health priority for the near future, I look forward to working with the community on other critical public health issues and the vision toward a healthier Phoenix.”

The city advertised the position as having an annual salary of up to $149,368, dependent on qualifications and experience. Dupuis-Witt will work closely with city departments to achieve public health objectives.

When the council decided to hire someone for the position, reported that City Councilwoman Betty Guardado said having a full-time advisor was long overdue.

“It would have avoided a lot of headaches as we were trying to get through the pandemic,” Guardado said during a subcommittee meeting.

Other responsibilities of the public health advisor include serving as a liaison to the public health community to channel program funds, analyzing existing public health programs to identify areas that need improvement, preparing reports based on data from programs or studies, and identifying resources that match city needs to improve the quality of life and well-being of community members.

The city outlined that the ideal candidate would have clinical experience, knowledge of public administration research methodology, and a master’s in public health. City officials believe they have found the ideal candidate in Dupuis-Witt, who will begin servicing the community next month.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Nicole Dupuis-Witt” by Phoenix City Manager. Background Photo “Phoenix City Hall” by Phoenix City Manager.


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