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Governor names new health department head

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell named Dr. Cynthia Romero as the new Commissioner for the Virginia Department of Health. Romero manages TPMG Romero Family Practice in Hampton Roads. She was also Chief Medical Officer for Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, according to an email from the governor’s administration.

Romero takes over for Dr. Karen Remley who resigned in October in protest over new regulations for Virginia abortion clinics.  Late last month, Governor McDonnell certified those new abortion clinic regulations.

The Virginia Department of Health said there will be a 60-day comment period where Virginians can voice their opinions about the regulations before they take effect. A town hall meeting will also be held in Richmond and Northern Virginia, although dates haven’t been set.

Erik Bodin, who is supervising clinic licensing and certification for The Virginia Department of Health, says all 20 existing abortion clinics have been given licenses to operate.  He says the clinics will have two years to come into compliance with the new regulations if adopted by the State Board of Health.