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FRAMINGHAM – Alex Depalo has been officially serving as the City of Framingham Interim Health Director since February 26.

Per the City of Framingham charter, an individual can only serve as interim for a maximum of 6 months.

Today, August 25 is her last day as interim health director and starting Thursday, August 26, she will revert back to deputy director of the department.

The Mayor will need to appoint another interim health director until the City Council formally approves a health director.

Mayor Yvonne Spicer’s first nominee was rejected by the Council in June.

Only four Councilors wanted to hire her – District 2 City Councilor Cesar-Stewart-Morales, District 3 City Councilor Adam Steiner, District 7 City Councilor Margareth Shepard, and District 9 City Councilor Tracey Bryant.

On August 10, Mayor Spicer nominated Depalo to be the permanent director for the City’s health department.

As the appointment comes in the final year of the Mayor’s 4-year term, the vote requires a 2/3rd approval of the City Council or 8 of the 11 City Councilors.

The vote is scheduled for Thursday, September 2. If the City Council does not act on the nomination within 30-days, the appointment is automatic.

The appointment is for a 3-year term.

The Mayor is seeking re-election but has two challengers for her seat. Voters will decide the mayoral race on November 2.

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The City of Framingham is still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and has been without a permanent health director since December 2020, when Sam Wong resigned. Wong emailed the City’s legislative delegation including Senate President Karen Spilka, and the three Framingham state representatives to announced his resignation.

SOURCE broke the news of his resignation, but the Spicer administration then decided to spin the departure of Wong as a leave of absence through the end of February.

But Wong when he left in December 2020 was never coming back, according to internal emails.

With Wong gone, Depalo was in charge of the department as deputy health director. Later she was given the official title of interim health director in February 2021, when the Spicer administration announced Wong was not coming back to the City of Framingham.

Wong eventually took a job with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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“I am pleased to accept this appointment, and, if approved, to serve as the Director of Public
Health,” said DePalo in the August 10 press release. “When the position first became available, I chose not to apply. I was focused on supporting the staff and moving the Health Department’s work forward during a difficult time. Now I have been in the role for several months, and feel I better understand the position. We have a great team in the Health Department- hard working, eager to learn new things, and willing to step up time and again as new challenges arise. I am grateful to each of them for their commitment and support this year.”

Before coming to Framingham, DePalo worked for the Town of Hudson, as the Director of
Community Health from 2014-18; Center for Health Impact as the Program Director in
Worcester, MA 2009-14; MetroWest Health Foundation as a Program Officer from 2006-09;
Boston University School of Public Health as a Program Manager 2004-06; and Best Buddies
Massachusetts as a Program Manager from 2002-03.

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.