July 23, 2005: Headlines: COS - South Africa: Medicine: Public Health: Staff: Philadelphia Inquirer: Joanne Godley, a former Peace Corps physician in South Africa now serving as medical director of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, becomes acting city health commissioner

Peace Corps Online: Directory: South Africa: Peace Corps South Africa : The Peace Corps in South Africa: July 23, 2005: Headlines: COS - South Africa: Medicine: Public Health: Staff: Philadelphia Inquirer: Joanne Godley, a former Peace Corps physician in South Africa now serving as medical director of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, becomes acting city health commissioner

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Joanne Godley, a former Peace Corps physician in South Africa now serving as medical director of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, becomes acting city health commissioner

Joanne Godley, a former Peace Corps physician in South Africa now serving as medical director of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, becomes acting city health commissioner

Before joining city government, Godley worked for three years as a Peace Corps medical officer in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and Pretoria, South Africa, where she managed 25 doctors and nurses who cared for about 1,300 Peace Corps volunteers in 12 countries. She also oversaw preventive health training for the volunteers and did some clinical work.


Joanne Godley, a former Peace Corps physician in South Africa now serving as medical director of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, becomes acting city health commissioner

New Phila. health chief is ready to get to work

Joanne Godley, the health department medical director and a former Peace Corps physician, takes over today.

By Virginia A. Smith

Inquirer Staff Writer

Joanne Godley, a former Peace Corps physician in Africa now serving as medical director of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, becomes acting city health commissioner today.

She replaces John F. Domzalski, 64, who is retiring after three years in the top job and 36 with the department. Her salary will remain at $154,430 a year.

Godley, 52, a gastroenterologist, said yesterday she hoped to continue the department's efforts to boost childhood immunizations, wipe out lead poisoning, and broaden access to health services.

"I'm eager to roll up my sleeves," she said.

Godley will manage a department of about 950 employees, eight family health centers and two clinics, one each for tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases. Its annual budget is $185 million.

When asked why Godley's title was acting rather than permanent, mayoral spokesman Joe Grace said, "That is the mayor's and the managing director's prerogative."

He declined further comment.

She brings strong academic credentials and a range of domestic and international experience to the job.

Godley earned a bachelor of arts degree in human biology from Stanford University in 1973 and four years later, both a master's degree in public health and a medical degree from Yale University. She is studying for a master's degree in bioethics in international research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

In 2002, Godley was appointed city medical director, with responsibility for overseeing health policy on infant mortality, child lead poisoning and immunizations. She also worked on health matters with other city departments, including prisons, police, human services and recreation.

State law requires the city to have a medical director with a medical degree unless the health commissioner is a physician. Domzalski has a law degree and a master's degree in public health.

Before joining city government, Godley worked for three years as a Peace Corps medical officer in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and Pretoria, South Africa, where she managed 25 doctors and nurses who cared for about 1,300 Peace Corps volunteers in 12 countries. She also oversaw preventive health training for the volunteers and did some clinical work.

Two decades ago, Godley spent two years as a field epidemiologist, based in the Philadelphia health department, for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She practiced medicine in West Philadelphia for 11 years, served on the health department board from 1995 to 1999, and was the medical director for a health maintenance organization for two years.

Godley is a Detroit native, and her father was a doctor, her mother a nurse. She is conversant in Spanish and French, has two children, and lives in the University City section of Philadelphia.

Her predecessor, who started as a health department intern in 1969 and headed many internal departments over the next three decades, had to retire today to take advantage of the city's Deferred Retirement Option Program. Under the program, employees can have their monthly retirement benefits paid out in a lump sum on retirement - within four years of signing up for the program.

Domzalski enrolled in 2001, about six months before Mayor Street appointed him commissioner. He made $127,500 annually.

In an interview yesterday, he outlined plans for an active retirement that could include something in business or public service.

"I want to do something that matters, that has a sense of urgency," he said, adding that he'd take a few weeks to think it all over - and play tennis.
Contact staff writer Virginia Smith at 215-854-5720 or vsmith@phillynews.com.





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Story Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - South Africa; Medicine; Public Health; Staff

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