Governor Ron DeSantis today announced the appointment of Dr. Scott A. Rivkees, pediatric chairman at Studer Family Children’s Hospital in Pensacola, as Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health.
A practicing pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Rivkees is a professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine and physician-in-chief of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, part of UF Health, the university’s academic health center. He also serves as academic chair of pediatrics at Orlando Health and pediatric chair at Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola. During his distinguished career, Dr. Rivkees has served as associate chair of pediatrics for research at the Yale University School of Medicine and on the faculty at Harvard Medical School.
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Rivkees as Florida Surgeon General, one of the most important appointments of my administration,” said Governor DeSantis. “Dr. Rivkees brings a wealth of experience and excellent credentials that fit glove-in-hand with Florida’s needs. I look forward to working with Dr. Rivkees, whose leadership will be indispensable in addressing the opioid crisis facing our state and responsible implementation of medical marijuana now that a legislative solution is in place, among other important issues.”
“As one of Florida’s leading physicians and an internationally-renowned expert in his field, I am confident Dr. Rivkees will inspire and spearhead innovative programs as Florida Surgeon General,” said Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “Dr. Rivkees understands the public health challenges facing Florida families and how the Department of Health can better work with its stakeholders to deliver on our commitment to a healthy Florida. I look forward to working with Dr. Rivkees to make long-term improvements in the healthcare of Floridians.”
“I am deeply honored to accept the appointment of Florida Surgeon General, a position that has the responsibility to ensure Florida’s 21 million citizens have access to affordable, safe and quality healthcare,” said Dr. Rivkees. “It is the duty of the Department of Health to ensure the health and prosperity of our citizens and visitors, young and old, healthy and infirmed. Medication safety, the opioid crisis, and the rising cost of prescription drugs are demanding issues facing Florida today and I am confident that under the leadership of Governor DeSantis and Lt. Governor Nuñez, Florida will lead the nation in innovative medical and healthcare solutions.”
ABOUT DR. RIVKEES
Scott A. Rivkees, M.D., is a professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine and physician-in-chief of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, part of UF Health, the university’s academic health center. He also serves as academic chair of pediatrics at Orlando Health and pediatric chair at Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola.
Dr. Rivkees is a graduate of Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He authored more than 200 original articles, chapters, and editorials. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Pediatrics Endocrinology, a member of American Society for Clinical Investigation, and served as the director of the multidisciplinary Yale Pediatric Thyroid Center. He is a member of the American Thyroid Association Public Health Committee and is Chair of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society Public Policy Committee.
An internationally-renowned expert on developmental biology and pediatric endocrinology, Dr. Rivkees leads a robust clinical and basic science research program. Key areas of study in his lab are the prevention of brain injury in premature infants, the effects of adenosine on the developing embryo, circadian biology and thyroid diseases. In 2009, he detected a safety problem with a common thyroid medication. One in 2,000 children who were on the medication were going into liver failure or dying each year, and his discovery led to global changes in medical practice.
A fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, he has been named one of America’s Best Doctors®, as well as one of America’s Top Pediatricians. Dr. Rivkees received the George H. Cook Distinguished Alumnus Award from Rutgers University and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and to be a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has testified before the U.S. Senate on pediatric issues.