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Commissioner of Health Jeanette Kowalik

Dr. Jeanette Kowalik has over a decade of progressive public health experience representing the life course. She began her career as an intern at the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD). Jeanette was drawn to public health, so she attended Northern Illinois University’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program while maintaining full-time employment in the field. Post completion of her MPH, Jeanette attended the Management Academy for Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; she began her doctorate in health sciences at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Milwaukee shortly thereafter. Her initial focus was infant mortality disparities among African American and Latinx adolescents; this shifted after she realized the significant gap in research regarding recruitment and retention of the public health workforce.Jeanette completed her coursework and dissertation while working full time for the Wauwatosa Health Department, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, and the Chicago Department of Public Health.

In the fall of 2014, Dr. Kowalik returned to Wisconsin and served as UW-Madison’s Director of Prevention and Campus Health Initiatives prior to her transition to the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) in Washington DC. Jeanette served as the Associate Director of Women’s and Infant Health at AMCHP, a professional membership organization for maternal and child health professionals nationwide. Dr. Kowalik left AMCHP in September of 2018 to return to her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin to serve as the Commissioner of Health. She is inspired and motivated to move the MHD forward to maximize community impact.

Dr. Kowalik’s diverse set of experiences continues to motivate her to advocate and represent those who are unable to “have a seat at the table.”