From The Chief Public Health Officer
Denise Fair Razo is Chief Public Health Officer for the City of Detroit and oversees the Detroit Health Department. She leads a team of 250 healthcare professionals who protect and promote the safety, health and well-being of Detroiters. The Health Department operates more than 40 services and programs so that Detroiters can have equitable access to all the elements of a healthy lifestyle so families can thrive and businesses can prosper. Denise was appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan in September 2019. She and her team led the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing outreach in the form of rapid tests, education and vaccination clinics, in addition to services that protect the public health such as communicable disease investigations, environmental health and safety inspection, food safety and programs to support healthy children.
Prior to leading Detroit’s Health Department, Denise was group practice director at Henry Ford Health System with executive oversight for primary care and behavioral health clinics and multi-specialty medical centers. Previously, she served as senior consultant and program administrator for Trinity Health System. Denise serves on Michigan’s Public Health Advisory Council, appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to represent local public health officials. She also serves on the boards of the Public Health Foundation, Detroit Authority, The Parade Company, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She also serves on the board of her high school alma mater, Greenhills School.
Denise has been extensively recognized for her leadership of the Detroit Health Department. She was named to the prestigious “40 Under 40” list of Crain’s Detroit Business in 2020, named “Woman of Impact” by The Joyce Ivey Foundation, “Woman of Excellence” by the Michigan Chronicle, the “Michigan Ave Award for Public Service” by the Southwest Detroit Business Association in 2021 and the Health Champion for the City by Black Family Development in 2022. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, a Master of Public Health from The University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Business Administration from the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University. She is board certified in health care management from the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and serves on the board of the ACHE Midwest Chapter. Denise has a deep personal commitment to a healthy lifestyle. She is an avid long distance runner and gardener, and resides in Detroit with her husband and son.