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Ron DeSantis Picks Scott Rivkees as Florida's Surgeon General

April 1, 2019 - 11:00am
Scott Rivkees
Scott Rivkees

On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis tapped Dr. Scott Rivkees to serve as Florida surgeon general and secretary of the Florida Department of Health.

A pediatric endocrinologist, Rivkees is a professor and chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine and physician-in-chief of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. He is also the academic chair of pediatrics at Orlando Health and pediatric chair at Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola. Before his current posts, he taught at the Yale University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Rivkees as Florida surgeon general, one of the most important appointments of my administration,” said DeSantis. “Dr. Rivkees brings a wealth of experience and excellent credentials that fit glove-in-hand with Florida’s needs. I look forward to working with Dr. Rivkees, whose leadership will be indispensable in addressing the opioid crisis facing our state and responsible implementation of medical marijuana now that a legislative solution is in place, among other important issues.”

“As one of Florida’s leading physicians and an internationally-renowned expert in his field, I am confident Dr. Rivkees will inspire and spearhead innovative programs as Florida Surgeon General,” said Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez. “Dr. Rivkees understands the public health challenges facing Florida families and how the Department of Health can better work with its stakeholders to deliver on our commitment to a healthy Florida. I look forward to working with Dr. Rivkees to make long-term improvements in the healthcare of Floridians.” 

"I am deeply honored to accept the appointment of Florida Surgeon General, a position that has the responsibility to ensure Florida’s 21 million citizens have access to affordable, safe and quality healthcare,” said Rivkees. “It is the duty of the Department of Health to ensure the health and prosperity of our citizens and visitors, young and old, healthy and infirmed. Medication safety, the opioid crisis, and the rising cost of prescription drugs are demanding issues facing Florida today and I am confident that under the leadership of Governor DeSantis and Lt. Governor Nuñez, Florida will lead the nation in innovative medical and healthcare solutions.”


According to a lawsuit ("slander/libel") Rivkees filed against a doctor he supervised at UF Health Shands Hospital, public records show that Rivkees routinely retaliates against doctors who express concerns about the quality of care provided at the hospital or clinics, by MANDATORY referrals for "mental health" or "drug addiction" treatment via the Florida Impaired Practitioners Network, and/or reduced their salary, and/or fired them. He filed a police report against at least one doctor who dared argue with him over quality of care issues. AND, obviously, he filed what appears to be a "nuisance" law suit. Pick somebody else to lead Florida's healthcare system, please!

Please investigate the Hepatitis A cases in Martin County.

Another one...

Another great pick, Governor. More proof that Florida voters picked the right team to lead our state, but also that patience pays off. It may have taken a little longer to find the right person to lead Health, but that extra time was worth it. Welcome to Tallahassee, Dr. Rivkees!

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