Chad Neilsen



Square_40GU40_Honorees_Neilsen__Chad.jpgALUM_40Under40_Logo-white-01.pngChad Neilsen
MPH '09  |  Jacksonville, FL

Director of Accreditation & Infection Prevention/
Public Health Officer
UF Health Jacksonville/Florida Air National Guard


Chad Neilsen is the Director of Accreditation & Infection Prevention at UF Health Jacksonville, and a courtesy faculty member for the UF College of Medicine in Jacksonville. He’s worked as an epidemiologist in Federal, state, county, and academic levels and has 10+ years in the field of infectious disease epidemiology. He is responsible for oversight of the facility’s Joint Commission accreditation and UF Health Jacksonville’s response to COVID-19. His infection prevention leadership was nationally recognized by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) in 2019. Additionally, Chad serves as a Public Health Officer for the Florida Air National Guard, based at the 125th Fighter Wing in Jacksonville, FL. His role in the military has included oversight of numerous public health outbreak responses, including the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak of 2014, and more recently when he deployed to the State of Florida Emergency Operations Center to augment the State Surgeon General’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. His work with the Florida National Guard in 2020 earned him the Company Grade Officer of the quarter for the 125th Fighter Wing and numerous other National Guard accolades. Chad has also become an expert in COVID-19, focusing his research on genomic epidemiology of the virus, and has appeared in dozens of local, national, and international media pieces in 2020. An Orlando native, Chad holds a B.S. in Biology from UCF, and a Master of Public Health-Epidemiology degree from UF. He lives in Jacksonville, FL with his wife Karianna, and their daughter Kate.