Mary Bassett tapped to lead New York State Department of Health

Mary Bassett tapped to lead New York State Department of Health
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Mary Bassett tapped to lead New York State Department of Health

Mary Bassett tapped to lead New York State Department of Health

Mary Bassett, who won praise for leading New York City through a series of health crises, was named as the state’s new health commissioner on Wednesday.

Dr. Bassett ran the city’s health department for four years until 2018 and joined the state after a stint as director of Harvard’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s announcement comes less than a week after the current health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker announced that he would resign in the wake of political pressure stemming from his role leading the state’s pandemic response under the former government. Andrew M Cuomo. Dr. Bassett’s appointment will be effective from December 1.

“Recovering from this pandemic requires tested leadership and experience to improve health equity and access across the state,” Governor Hochul said in a statement on Wednesday, and Dr. Bassett is the leader of New York State during this critical moment. Well equipped to lead the health department.” . “Dr. Bassett is both a highly respected public health expert and an exemplary public servant, and I look forward to working with him to keep New Yorkers safe and healthy.”

“I am humbled and honored to return to my home state of New York to lead the Department of Health at this critical time,” Dr Bassett said in a statement.

Dr. Bassett was praised for his handling of the Ebola scare in 2014, as well as driving the city’s response to the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak and the threat of Zika. She was known for taking racial justice and social equality into account when setting the city’s health policy, developing neighborhood health centers in an effort to better serve the most vulnerable New Yorkers.

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But the Department of Health also came under scrutiny during his tenure for conducting lead paint inspections in New York City’s public housing system.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, she was one of the authors of an op-ed urging Mr Cuomo, then governor, to release older and high-risk prisoners, as well as non-combatants. -For criminal parole violations and for the release of those who were nearing release. from state prisons and prisons.

“This is not only an issue about the health of people in prisons, but also a public health crisis that threatens to become a humanitarian disaster,” the op-ed warned.

Growing up in Washington Heights, Dr. Bassett served as Mayor Michael R. Before being appointed to the city’s top role by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Served as Deputy Health Commissioner under Bloomberg.

He holds degrees from the University of Washington, Harvard and Columbia University, where he has also taught. He spent seventeen years in Zimbabwe developing interventions to treat AIDS and mentoring for nonprofits including UNICEF and the World Bank.

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