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Delaware Headlines

Director of Delaware's Division of Public Health to leave post at the end of next month

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Delaware Department of Public Health
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Dr. Karyl Rattay is stepping down as Director of Delaware’s Division of Public Health.

Rattay called the role serving Delawareans the greatest honor of her lifetime, and says she is grateful for the opportunity to serve under Gov. Carney and Gov. Markell before him.

In a statement, she says she couldn’t be prouder of the DPH team and what they’ve accomplished over the past 13 years.

Rattay took over the role as Director of the Division of Public Health in 2009 during the H1N1 influenza pandemic. She was the nation’s longest service Public Health Director.

“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.

During her time, Rattay with her DPH team oversaw a 14% reduction in cancer mortality rates through a statewide prevention, screening, and treatment initiative.

Infant mortality rates also reduced significantly, by nearly 30% from 2015-2019, and there was a 25% reduction in unintended pregnancies through the Delaware Contraceptives Access Now initiative.

Rattay also guided DPH in taking the lead on the state’s response to multiple health threats, including COVID-19, H1N1, Superstorm Sandy, Ebola, Zika virus, and Tuberculosis outbreaks.

“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.”

Rattay steps down effective June 30.