Indian American appointed New York City health commissioner

Dr. Dave A. Chokshi
Dr. Dave A. Chokshi

Dr. Dave A. Chokshi played key role in New York City’s covid-19 response.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Indian American Dr. Dave A. Chokshi as Commissioner of the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“Dr. Chokshi has spent his career fighting for those too often left behind,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio announcing the appointment of the physician who served as a key leader in the City’s covid-19 response.

“Never has that been more true than during the covid-19 pandemic, where he has helped lead our City’s public health system under unprecedented challenges.”

“I know he’s ready to lead the charge forward in our fight for a fairer and healthier city for all,” de Blasio said.

Dr. Chokshi has served at the highest level of local, state, and federal health agencies, including NYC Health + Hospitals, where he was in senior leadership roles over the past six years, according to a media release.

As Chief Population Health Officer, Dr. Chokshi’s team transformed healthcare delivery for over one million New Yorkers, it said.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our City’s response in the face of a once-in-a-lifetime public health crisis,” Chokshi was quoted as saying.

“I’m honored to serve the people of New York City with the extraordinary team at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,” he said. “Together, we will emerge from this pandemic as a stronger, fairer, and healthier city.”

Raised in Baton Rouge as the son of immigrants from India, he served at the Louisiana Department of Health before and after Hurricane Katrina, with a focus on reshaping the State’s healthcare system in the wake of the storm.

He was also a Rhodes Scholar, earning an MSc in global public health from the University of Oxford.

Dr. Chokshi served as a White House Fellow in the Obama Administration and was the principal health advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

In 2016, President Obama appointed him to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.

Dr. Chokshi trained at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. During his training, he did clinical work in Guatemala, Peru, Botswana, Ghana, and India.

“For the last 15 years, I have seen Dr. Chokshi touch the lives of patients and communities in profound ways as a physician and public health leader,” said Dr. Vivek Murthy, former Indian American Surgeon General.

”He is of a rare breed of leaders who combine brilliance and strong judgement with humility and compassion.”

“These qualities and his unfailing moral compass will serve New York City well as it faces the covid-19 pandemic and longstanding public health challenges,” Murthy said.

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