West Virginia

Department of
Health & Human Resources

Interim State Health Officer Named


West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch today appointed Catherine C. Slemp, MD, MPH, as Interim State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health, effective November 8, 2018. 

Since 2011, Dr. Slemp has served as a public health consultant for governmental, academic, professional and community organizations. She has served as a relief and development coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia since September 2016.  From 2002 through 2011, she served as the Acting State Health Officer for DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health.

In 1994, Dr. Slemp began working for DHHR as clinical and program director, and then for two years served as communicable disease transitions coordinator and epidemiologist for DHHR’s Division of Surveillance and Disease Control. She later served as director of the Center for Threat Preparedness for nine years.  

“Cathy’s prior experience as State Health Officer and her many years with the Department offer a unique perspective to hit the ground running on day one,” Crouch said.  “I am confident her wealth of experience will serve the public health needs of West Virginia. We are so pleased to welcome Cathy back to DHHR and appreciate her willingness to serve in this interim role.”

Dr. Slemp holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Princeton University, a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, and an M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine.

She is a published author and researcher and has served or is serving on numerous boards for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

Dr. Slemp replaces Dr. Rahul Gupta who announced his resignation September 18, 2018 to become senior vice president and chief medical and health officer for March of Dimes. Dr. Gupta will end his nearly four years of service with DHHR on November 7, 2018.  

Contact Information

Media contact: DHHRCommunications@wv.gov or (304) 558-7899