A Hampton Roads native and graduate of EVMS, Cynthia Romero, MD (MD '93), served as principal health advisor to the Governor, Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Virginia General Assembly and Board of Health from January 2013 to January 2014. As the Virginia State Health Commissioner, Dr. Romero supervised an agency with an annual budget of $626 million.
The Virginia Department of Health promotes and protects the health of all Virginians through the efforts of 4,500 employees and 119 health departments that are organized into 35 health districts throughout the Commonwealth. The department focuses on communicable disease investigation and control, immunization, chronic disease prevention, as well as oral health, drinking water, environmental health, emergency preparedness and response, and emergency medical services. Dr. Romero’s responsibilities also encompassed the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, licensure and inspection of nursing homes and hospitals, administration of vital records and the review and approval of applications by healthcare providers to expand facilities and services in Virginia communities.
Prior to her appointment as Virginia’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Romero was Chief Medical Officer and Vice President for Quality and Medical Affairs for Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. She was in private practice for 16 years at Romero Family Practice with her mother as her partner and her father as her office manager.
Dr. Romero has been a strong advocate for her patients and for the medical profession through leadership in professional medical organizations. She served as President of the Philippine Medical Association of Southeastern Virginia, Inc., Tidewater Academy of Family Physicians, Virginia Academy of Family Physicians, and Norfolk Academy of Medicine. In 2011, she was the President of the Medical Society of Virginia, the statewide organization representing over 10,000 physicians, residents and medical students across the Commonwealth.
Dr. Romero received a bachelor's degree in psychology with minors in biology and economics from the University of Virginia and her Doctor of Medicine from EVMS. She completed her Family Medicine training at Riverside Family Medicine Residency in Newport Neww and a Primary Health Care Policy Fellowship through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. She has been honored with the Mead Johnson Award by the American Academy of Family Physicians for excellence in clinical medicine and community services.