City of Cleveland Daily News Updates – #385

The City of Cleveland today made the following announcements:

City of Cleveland Held Press Conference Wednesday, July 7

Mayor Frank G. Jackson held a press conference on Wednesday, July 7 regarding several new appointments in Public Health and provided several Public Safety updates. He was joined by Public Safety Director Karrie Howard and Police Chief Calvin D Williams. They answered questions from residents and media regarding safety initiatives, crime statistics and more.

Click here to view the press conference.

“When I announced that this was my final term, I told you that the work would continue,” said Mayor Jackson. “We will do the work because we owe nothing less to the citizens of this city. I will serve as your mayor, until I’m no longer mayor. These new appointments are a continuation of the staffing changes I began in May as part of the transition to end my mayoral leadership. I have sworn in interim positions, finalized appointments, filled outstanding positions and am reassigning mayor’s office staff, including support staff, to other roles in the city.”

Mayor Jackson Administers Oath of Office to Staff in Cleveland Department of Public Health

Mayor Jackson swore in Dr. Karen Cooper as the Medical Director of the Department of Public Health and Frances Mills as the Health Commissioner for the Department of Public Health. Read below for the appointees’ biographies:

Dr. Karen Cooper:

Dr. Karen Cooper is a board certified family medicine physician who saw the need for primary care to bridge the gap between surgical and medical management of obese patients in the Bariatric & Metabolic Center of Cleveland Clinic. 

After seven years, Dr. Cooper turned her focus towards health promotion and disease prevention in women through medical management of obesity and related complex issues, in the Women’s Health Institute. Her passion for community health and cultural diversity has included local and national outreach educational programs. She has also provided medical care within underserved regions of South and Latin America, and the Caribbean. Click here to read Dr. Cooper’s full biography.

To view a photo from today’s ceremony click here.

Frances Mills:

Mills joined the Department of Public Health in 2015 as a Grants Administrator with Moms First before becoming the CDPH Director of Minority Health.  In 2017, she became the Director of Community Health Initiatives where she provided leadership and oversight of the Cleveland Office of Minority Health and the Healthy Cleveland Initiative. Earlier this year, Mills became the Interim Commissioner of Health.

Prior to joining the City of Cleveland, Mills served in diverse non-profit and government roles in substance abuse prevention, mental health, homelessness, crisis and trauma services. Mills also served as the Deputy Director of the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Cuyahoga County. In this capacity, Mills represented the Board in the development of special initiatives for individuals impacted by the use, misuse and addiction of alcohol and other drugs. Click here to read Mill’s full biography.

To view a photo from today’s ceremony click here.

Cleveland Department of Public Health Update

In fall of 2020, the Mayor Jackson announced several key actions he would take in order to improve the organizational culture as well as the efficiency, effectiveness and operations of the Cleveland Department of Public Health. 

These actions were divided into 2 phases:

Phase 1 was the Reorganization/Stabilization Phase.  

During this phase, we identified the critical needs and gaps that had to be addressed immediately and in the long-term.  In response, we took the appropriate action steps required to respond to the Department’s immediate needs and began to lay the foundation required to address the more complex systemic issues.

Some of the action steps the Mayor took during phase 1 included:

  • Appointment of an interim Director of the Department of Health- Brian Kimball
  • Appointment of a full-time Medical Director who will play a critical role in providing the guidance needed to improve existing programs/initiatives as well as create new opportunities for improving the health and well-being of our communities
  • Appointment of an interim Commissioner of the Division of Health— Now the confirmed Commissioner, Frances Mills
  • Established partnership with Case Western Reserve University’s School of Public Health to restructure our Epidemiology Unit and assist with our COVID-19 response efforts as well as other infectious diseases.

More efforts are underway, so our Phase 1 work continues. 

Phase 2 is the Transformation Phase:

 In phase 2, the Cleveland Department of Public Health will continue to offer traditional programs and services.   However, we will now work to create the structures and systems the Department needs in order to lead efforts related to identifying and eliminating the patterns of systemic disadvantage that challenge the well-being and quality of life for our highest need populations.

As a part of phase 2, the Mayor created the new Division of the Health Equity and Social Justice in the Department of Health.   The new Division was officially created in December 2020 and will be led by the incoming Commissioner of the Division Ms. Lita Wills. She will be sworn in later this month. The primary work of this new unit will be to:

  1. Collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data; and use that information to identify the links between health disparities and social determinants of health to understand the overall impact on the overall well-being of the populations we serve- particularly marginalized populations.
  2. Develop strategies to eliminate the patterns of systemic disadvantage that negatively impact our highest need populations; and
  3. Ensure to keep at the forefront the foundational construct that undergirds and guides this work is a firm belief in social justice

Ayonna Blue Donald of Director Building & Housing Assigned to Hopkins Airport; Mayor Appoints Interim Director of Building & Housing

Ayonna Blue Donald, the City of Cleveland’s Director Building & Housing, has announced she will be leaving her position to take on the role of Chief of Commercial Services and Governmental Affairs for the Cleveland Airport System.

As the Chief of Commercial Services and Governmental Affairs, Donald will be responsible for non-airline revenue development, the management of the airport system’s accessibility and inclusion programs and directing the negotiation of complex real estate- related ground leases. View Donald’s full job description here.

As part of Mayor Jackson’s transition he will continue to swear in and finalize appointments in the  coming weeks. Interim positions allow the next mayor to more easily determine those persons whom will actually hold the permanent positions as they begin to build the new administration.

Subsequent to Donald’s departure Mayor Jackson swore in Antoinette Allen as the Interim Director of Building & Housing.

Allen comes into this position after serving the City of Cleveland for 23 years as an Assistant Administrator in the Department of Building and Housing.

As a Records Administrator she was responsible for developing and documenting procedures, overseeing and managing staff and serving as custodian to Building and Housing records and plans.

Various process improvements have been implemented under her leadership, including the automation of the multi-million dollar Rental Registration program and the Rental Registration Lockbox project, which has contributed to the growth and development of the Building and Housing Department. Click here to read Allen’s full biography.

To view a photo from today’s ceremony click here.

City of Cleveland Human Resource Director Announces Departure

Nycole West, the City of Cleveland’s Director of Human Resources, has announced she will be leaving her positon to take on the role of ED, Labor & Employee Relations at Cuyahoga Community College.

West previously served as the Interim Director for Human Resources and has been employed with the City of Cleveland since 2002. She has served as Labor Relations Manager and in this capacity as the Department of Human Resources’ Chief Negotiator for each of the city’s 31 labor unions.

“I want to thank Nycole West for her work as the Director of Human Resources and congratulate her on her new role as the ED, Labor & Employee Relations at Cuyahoga Community College,” said Mayor Jackson. “I know that she will do a good job in her new position, as she has done as a member of my administration and cabinet. I wish her well.”

West holds a Bachelor of Arts, Communications from Duquesne University and a Master of Legal Studies from Cleveland State University. She has an International Public Management Association HR Senior Certified Professional Certification and is a Board Member of Crimson Heights Ministries Inc. and McKinney Scholarship Fund (Cleveland Foundation).

Other Important Reminders

City of Cleveland Division of Emergency Medical Service Now Hiring EMTs/Paramedics

The City of Cleveland Division of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) is now hiring EMTs/Paramedics. Applications are now available at and are due no later than July 22, 2021. To view the full flyer, click here.

For more information, please contact Cleveland Public Safety Recruitment at 216-623-5233, or via social media: @ClevelandPublicSafetyRecruitment on Facebook and @CLErecruitment on Instagram and Twitter.