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Dr. James McDonald named state’s 18th Health Commissioner

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  • Staff Report 

Dr. James McDonald has officially been named as New York State’s 18th Health Commissioner. Prior to this appointment, he served as the state’s Acting Commissioner, stepping in after Dr. Mary Bassett’s resignation at the start of 2023.


During his acceptance of the role, McDonald highlighted his commitment to promoting healthier living, addressing health disparities, enhancing access to affordable healthcare, and fostering healthier communities throughout the state.

With a robust healthcare background, McDonald has held various roles at the Rhode Island Department of Health, including Interim Director of Health, Chief Administrative Officer of the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline, and Medical Director for both the COVID unit and the Drug Overdose Prevention Program.

He was also an active member of the Governor’s task force on preventing overdose deaths. McDonald, a faculty member at the Brown School of Public Health and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, earned his M.D. from Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, and has board certification in pediatrics as well as preventive medicine.