Lillian Rivera, is the Administrator and Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County with responsibility for the execution and supervision of public health programs. Dr. Rivera oversees a $70 million budget and over 750 employees in a county with 2.6 million residents. Under her leadership, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County is the only organization to have won the Governor’s Sterling Award for significant improvement and performance excellence three times and the Sustained Excellence Award. Dr. Rivera is the first female, first Hispanic and first nurse to lead a county health department in State of Florida. The same firsts apply to her tenure as Deputy State Health Officer with the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee. Her responsibilities included oversight of 67 county health departments and implementation of the performance excellence model within the State Department of Health.
Prior to this appointment, Dr. Rivera held the positions of Executive Community Health Nursing Director for the Florida Department of Health in Miami- Dade County, Director of Nursing at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, as well as Nursing Director for the Department of Health in Puerto Rico. Dr. Rivera earned BSN and MSN degrees from the University of Puerto Rico, holds a PhD in Health Administration and received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters in Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Rivera is certified as a Health Care Risk Manager, a graduate of the Executive Institute for Community Health Nurses at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a fellow of the Nurse Executive Program/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Public Health Leadership Institute.
Dr. Rivera is a past President of the Florida Sterling Council; member of the Florida Public Health Association; founding board member of the Florida Institute for Health Innovation; member of several committees and advisory groups including the University of Miami’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Community Advisory Board; External Advisory Committee of the Florida International University, Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work; several National Association of County and City Health Officials committees; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Advisory Group for the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps initiative; Miami Children’s Initiative Board; Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and honorary member of the Alpha Omega Chapter of the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society.
In recognition of her leadership and commitment to public health, Dr. Rivera received the 2016 Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Healthcare Hero Award in the Healthcare Professional category; 2016 In the Company of Women Award; 2015 Alicia Baro Achievement Award and 2013 Health Council of South Florida’s Award for Exceptional Community Service. She was featured in Miami Today as Best of Miami 2011; received the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women’s 2011 Outstanding Professional Performance & Community Service Award and was named one of the most influential Latinos in Miami.
She received the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s 2010 Champion for Children Award; Florida Health Care Executive Forum’s 2009 Community Service Award; Florida International University Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work’s Annual Paths of Public Health Award; and University of South Florida College of Public Health’s 2008 Florida Outstanding Woman in Public Health Award.
With her many years as a public health nurse and administrator, Lillian Rivera is truly an advocate for improving the public health system. Delivering health services to a diverse community holds many challenges and in order to meet the many health disparities in the Miami-Dade Community she forges collaborative partnerships with community organizations and local leaders.