RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After three months with an interim director, a new Health Director has recently started at the Richmond City and Henrico County Health Department.

Dr. Elaine Perry took over for interim Health Director Dr. Melissa Viray on Sunday, July 10. A native of upstate New York, Dr. Perry attended Penn State and went to medical school at Dartmouth and Brown. She recently served as interim Health Director in the Central Shenandoah Health District.

Dr. Perry also served as a physician in the Loudoun County Health District and as director of the Peninsula Health District, where she served as president of the Board of Directors of Access Partnership, a non-profit that works to expand access to healthcare in the Hampton Roads Region.

“Richmond City and Henrico County are diverse communities with rich histories and culture and a robust network of community organizations… still, the communities experience complex health inequities,” says Dr. Perry. “I’m looking forward to joining RHHD to continue the work towards eliminating disparities and supporting the health of all residents. I am thankful to work with such dynamic teams and am grateful to Dr. Viray for her leadership and warm welcome.”

Dr. Viray has returned to her position as deputy director, where she has been since 2017.

“On behalf of the residents of Richmond, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Melissa Viray for serving as the Acting Director for the Richmond Henrico Health District following the departure of Dr. Danny Avula in February of this year,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. “ Dr. Viray and the experienced Richmond Henrico Health District team are healthcare heroes who have worked tirelessly to keep Richmonders safe and informed throughout the pandemic, while supporting other key public health initiatives in the region. We look forward to working with Dr. Perry to maintain the same high standards and continuum of care for our city and region, and wish her the best in her new role with VDH.”