A Hampton Roads native, Cynthia Romero, MD, joined EVMS in 2014 as director of the M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health. Dr. Romero previously served as the principal health adviser 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’s mission is to promote and protect the health of all Virginians. It fulfills this mission through the delivery of public health services by 4,500 employees and 119 health departments that are organized into 35 health districts throughout the Commonwealth. The department has 41 separate service areas, including communicable disease investigation and control, immunization, chronic disease prevention and 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, the licensure and inspection of nursing homes and hospitals, the administration of vital records and the review and approval of applications by health care 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. Dr. Romero was in private practice for 16 years at Romero Family Practice with her mother as her partner and her father as her office manager. Her parents retired in 2010. Dr. Romero continued to see patients in the office until her appointment January 29.
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 of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology and Economics from the University of Virginia and her Doctor of Medicine from EVMS. She completed her training in family medicine at the Riverside Family Medicine Residency in Newport News. She completed a Primary Healthcare Policy Fellowship through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. She was recognized with the Mead Johnson Award by the American Academy of Family Physicians for excellence in clinical medicine and community services.