Magazine names DeSalvo a Public Official of the Year

Dr. Karen DeSalvo, health commissioner for the City of New Orleans, has been named one of Governing Magazine’s Public Officials of the Year.

“In the continued wake of Hurricane Katrina, Dr. DeSalvo has transformed New Orleans’ health department from one of the worst in the country -- focused on clinical care and responding to illness -- into a national model that’s focused on wellness and community health,” the magazine said.

DeSalvo was one of nine local and state government officials who received the honor. The is the 22nd year of the award program.

“We’re always happy to highlight government officials who are doing great work,” Governing Publisher Erin Waters said. “But the nine leaders we’re recognizing this year are particularly outstanding. They’ve shown a sterling dedication to serving the public through strong leadership and good management. We’re grateful for their service.”

Others on the list include Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, recognized for heading bipartisan health-care reform efforts; and Louisville, Ky., Mayor Gregory E. Fischer, who is using data to transform the way the city is managed.