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Hochul selects former NYC health official for state health commissioner

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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Gov. Kathy Hochul has appointed Dr. Mary Bassett to succeed Dr. Howard Zucker as New York’s health commissioner, effective Dec. 1. Bassett, who is currently a professor at Harvard University, previously served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. (Photo credit: Harvard University website)

A woman who once served as she served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will soon become New York’s next health commissioner.

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced the appointment of Dr. Mary Bassett as commissioner of the New York State Department of Health. She’ll replace Dr. Howard Zucker who resigned from the role Sept. 23

Bassett’s appointment is effective Dec. 1.

Dr. Bassett’s career has spanned academia, government, and nonprofit work “with more than 30 years of experience devoted to promoting health equity and social justice, both in the United States and abroad,” Hochul’s office noted.

Bassett currently serves as director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights in the department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

From 2014 through summer 2018, Bassett served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she made racial justice a priority. Dr. Bassett also led the Department’s response to Ebola, Legionnaires’ disease and other disease outbreaks.

 

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