Dona Milne will take up the prestigious post within Scotland’s second largest health board.
She currently holds the post of Director of Public Health in NHS Fife and will make the short journey to back NHS Lothian – where she was previously a deputy director.
Calum Campbell, Chief Executive NHS Lothian, said: “I am delighted to welcome Dona back and I look forward to working with her in her new role.
“She will bring with her a wealth of experience in the role which will be invaluable as NHS Lothian continues to respond to the global public health pandemic in the immediate and longer term.
“I would also like to thank Katie Dee, who has stepped in as Interim Director of Public Health and continues to help guide the board through one of the most challenging times.”
In her new role, Dona will be the chief source of public health leadership and advice to the Board and the surrounding local authorities.
She will also have a key role to play in working with local communities, health protection, health improvement and promoting and maintaining effective health services.
She said: “Along with our Lothian colleagues in the public, voluntary and community sector, we are seeing the negative impact on population health due to the social and economic consequences of COVID-19. It is imperative that we build on the anti-poverty efforts already initiated by our partners and local communities to reduce levels of inequality and need.
“We must also continue to mitigate the direct impact of COVID-19 by protecting our population from the virus as much as we can whilst delivering the biggest vaccination programme ever”.
Dona left Lothian to take up the post as Director of Public Health in NHS Fife in September 2018.
She has held various roles throughout her career, including seven years as Depute Director of YWCA Scotland, leading the Healthy Respect National Demonstration Project, and a secondment to the Scottish Government, leading the H1N1 vaccination campaign.
Dona is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health. In a voluntary capacity, she is also Chair of Youth Scotland and a trustee with Inspiring Scotland.