Dr. Michael O. Royster

(Health Fellows & Scholars)
Vice President, Richmond Office
Midlothian, Virginia
United States

Focus Areas

Policy & Education


Michael O. Royster, MD, MPH, FACPM, is Vice President, Richmond Office, for the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHi). Prior to joining (IPHi) in January 2013, Dr. Royster was the Director of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE). In this position, he oversaw Virginia’s state offices of minority health, rural health, and primary care. The Office advanced health equity by developing data tools to assess health inequities, improving access to quality health care, developing and promoting community-based participatory initiatives, enhancing the capacity of VDH and its partners to promote health equity, and facilitating strategies to target the social determinants of health. Of note, he led the creation of the innovative health opportunity index (HOI) to characterize health inequities and their association with social determinants of health in Virginia. Prior to this position, Dr. Royster was the Director of the Crater Health District headquartered in Petersburg, Virginia. In this capacity, he oversaw public health programs and services for 5 rural counties and 3 small cities with a combined population of 150,000. Among other initiatives, he led the initial implementation of emergency preparedness and response planning within the district; implemented outcome-based program evaluations for all health department programs; and led the expansion of community-based participatory efforts to promote cardiovascular health, eliminate childhood lead poisoning, and reduce teen pregnancy. He was a member of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Chronic Disease and Tobacco Workgroup. Dr. Royster completed his undergraduate training at the University of Virginia, and his medical training at Duke University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Following his residency, he worked briefly as an environmental epidemiologist with the US EPA. In addition, he completed the two year W.K. Kellogg Health Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Board certified in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine, Dr. Royster is a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. In addition, he is a member of the American Public Health Association, a member of the board of directors for the Virginia Public Health Association, and an adjunct assistant clinical professor with the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Community Health.