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Dr. Mary Bassett resigning: Who will lead state health department next?

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  • Staff Report 

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett is resigning. She confirmed the move in a statement on Friday.

She was appointed on December 1st, 2021. The state Senate confirmed her appointment on January 20th, 2022.

“I have submitted my resignation as New York State Health Commissioner effective January 1, 2023, when I will return to the Harvard Chan School of Public Health,” Bassett said in a statement. “This was a very difficult decision. I have tremendous admiration for the work our staff has done during a very difficult year responding to COVID, mpox, polio and the day-to-day challenges of protecting New Yorkers’ health.”

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

She said her decision to leave now would allow the next commissioner could have the chance to lead for a full, four-year term under Governor Kathy Hochul, who just won re-election.

“I am grateful that the Governor gave me the opportunity to serve as commissioner, and I know that the department and public health will be in good hands thanks to her leadership and the incredible talent and dedication of the staff. Though I am moving back to Massachusetts, I will always be a New Yorker, and I look forward to cheering on the department’s accomplishments in the coming years,” Bassett added.

She succeeded Dr. Howard Zucker, who resigned in September 2021 following fallout from the state’s response to COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic.