Gateley named director WPHD

Dr. Kerry Gateley is the new health director of the West Piedmont Health District (WPHD), which includes Patrick County. (Contributed photo)

Dr. Kerry Gateley recently was appointed health director of the West Piedmont Health District (WPHD) by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

The district includes Patrick, Henry and Franklin counties and the City of Martinsville.

Gateley will remain health director of the Central Virginia Health District as well.

He has directed Virginia health departments for nearly 10 years, beginning in July 2008. During that time, Gateley has served as health director not only for Central Virginia, but also as acting health director for the Central Shenandoah and Pittsylvania-Danville/Southside Health Districts.

With the recent appointment, he will be responsible for eight health departments. The Central Virginia and West Piedmont districts intersect at Smith Mountain Lake.

“I look forward to both health districts working together to discover how we can synergize for the benefit of both populations,” Gateley said. “I think this new arrangement will bring about many positive changes.”

Robert Hicks, deputy commissioner for Community Health Services at VDH, said Gateley’s appointment is good for the West Piedmont Health District.

Gateley “is one of the Virginia Department of Health’s most experienced public health directors, and his effective leadership of his public health teams and collaborative work with communities produce positive population health outcomes.”

Since coming to VDH, Gateley has been active in partnerships designed to perform community health needs assessments (CHNA) and community health improvement plans (CHIP); he has organized or participated in collaborative efforts to implement these plans.

In 2012, Gateley joined the faculty of Liberty University’s Master of Public Health program as adjunct professor. In 2017, he accepted an assignment as Division III Opioid Champion, combating the opioid public health crisis in Virginia.

Gateley received a B.S. degree (summa cum laude) from Christian Brothers University in 1982 and a M.D. (Alpha Omega Alpha honors) from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in 1985. He completed a residency in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine at the University of South Carolina, where he also received a Master of Public Health degree (1987).

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