Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announces appointments in building and housing and health departments

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson on Wednesday announced hires to fill vacancies at the Department of Building and Housing and the Department of Public Health.

Antoinette Allen was sworn in as the interim director of the construction and housing department. Allen, a 23-year-old city worker, replaces Ayonna Donald, who took up a job at the airport as head of commercial services and government affairs for Cleveland airports.

Dr. Karen Cooper was sworn in as the medical director of the Department of Health. Cooper is the first medical director in several years to be a city employee, rather than an outside contractor, Jackson said.

Frances Mills, who was the director of community health initiatives, was sworn in as public health commissioner. She replaces Persis Sosiak, who left in February, and who occupied the post on an interim basis.

Jackson, speaking at a press conference, said he plans to swear in a new head of the health department soon.

Following a departmental reshuffle last year, Jackson announced it would be reorganized into a division to address institutional racism and inequality as health issues.

Jackson said he had selected Lita Wills, who is the director of community impact for United Way of the Mahoning Valley.

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