FRAMINGHAM – The City of Framingham, in a press release, announced today, February 25, The City’s Health Director Samuel S. Wong, will resign as of Friday, February 26.
The City said in its press release “Dr. Wong has been on leave since Friday, January 1, 2021, citing ‘health reasons’ and officially submitted his resignation Wednesday, February 24.”
He has been using his vacation time the last couple of weeks, according to HR documents (see below).
“When I joined Framingham in August 2017, I came in at a time when the Department needed a complete overhaul,” said Dr. Wong, in a statement issued by the City of Framingham today. “I’m proud of the team and Department that I have built and believe I’m leaving the City in capable hands.”
“The City is losing a true leader and friend. I have admired how Dr. Wong managed his department, but he has given more of himself than I could have hoped for Framingham through this pandemic. We all are familiar with the phrase ‘the squeaky wheel gets the oil.’ He became that ‘squeaky wheel’ that enabled the City to increase COVID-19 testing for residents of all ages and improve contact tracing. Throughout the pandemic, he led the charge to educate residents, businesses, and places of worship. In April 2020, he began providing a weekly data analysis to help our community better understand the virus and guide efforts to mitigate further disease transmission. Also, he oversaw hundreds of inspections, ensuring businesses remained compliant with COVID-19 reopening guidelines. He even spent countless hours to help our City Council understand the approach the City was taking to address the pandemic and deter misinformation, including helping to draft a nine-page response explaining the City’s efforts to our at-large councilors,” said Mayor Yvonne M. Spicer. “Framingham is better because of Dr. Sam Wong. I’m confident in the team and department he leaves behind, and I wish him well in future endeavors.”
Some of Dr. Wong’s additional accomplishments during his tenure, listed the City of Framingham in a press release, include:
• Managed a department of 15 (Framingham has a population of around 70,000, Boston has a population of nearly 700,000, and the Boston Health Department has 1,100 employees. Boston’s population is roughly ten times the size of Framingham, and its health department is nearly 100 times the size of Framingham’s.)
• Launched the first stand-alone Public Health Nursing Office and Clinic in the state
• Oversaw our award-winning Medical Reserve Corps, which increases the capacity of Framingham’s public health nursing services without increasing costs
• Received numerous grants to help the City with substance use disorder
• Created a grant-funded community engagement program for southeast Framingham The Framingham Health Department equitably protects and promotes the health of Framingham’s diverse populations that live, work, and play in the City. It oversees environmental health
(environmental justice, contaminated sites, permits, inspections, and hoarding); community health (substance use prevention/intervention, healthy aging, and community engagement); public health nursing (communicable disease control, nursing clinic, and immunizations), and emergency preparedness).
The City is reviewing the Public Health Department Director job description and will post the position shortly.
Alexandra M. DePalo (current Assistant Director) will continue to serve in Dr. Wong’s stead, said the press release.