Dr. Oxiris Barbot Resigns and Replaced by Dr. Dave A. Chokshi as Head of NYC Dept. of Health
NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today announced at a press conference the appointment of Dr. Dave A. Chokshi as Commissioner of the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 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. As Chief Population Health Officer, Dr. Chokshi’s team transformed healthcare delivery for over one million New Yorkers. Most recently, he served as a key leader in the City’s COVID-19 response.
“Dr. Chokshi has spent his career fighting for those too often left behind,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “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.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of our City’s response in the face of a once-in-a-lifetime public health crisis,” said Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “I’m honored to serve the people of New York City with the extraordinary team at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Together, we will emerge from this pandemic as a stronger, fairer, and healthier city.”
Dr. Chokshi comes to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene with a wealth of experience in public health, clinical medicine, and health policy. Raised in Baton Rouge as the son of immigrants, 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 will continue his clinical practice at Bellevue Hospital, where he has taken care of patients as a primary care physician since 2014. He trained at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. During his training, Dr. Chokshi did clinical work in Guatemala, Peru, Botswana, Ghana, and India.
Dr. Chokshi served on the FEMA delegation to New York City after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, coordinating with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on a door knocking initiative to bring food and medication to stranded seniors in high rises across hard-hit areas of the city. As Special Advisor to New York City Health Commissioner Tom Farley, Dr. Chokshi contributed to the City’s response to opioid addiction, obesity, and disease prevention in 2011.
He lives in Jackson Heights, Queens—just a few blocks from Elmhurst Hospital—with his wife, an educator in New York City public schools, and 14-month-old daughter.
“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 Surgeon General of the United States “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 COVID19 pandemic and longstanding public health challenges. In Dr. Chokshi, New York has found a leader worthy of its trust and support.”
“I’ve known Dave for a decade, first in Washington when we both served our nation’s veterans, and now serving New Yorkers through the COVID-19 crisis,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Raul Perea- Henze. “In every situation, he has been a leader who brings people together and believes in scientific driven solutions. I’m happy and proud to welcome him to be part of the health team that will keep New York safe for years to come.”
“Dr. Chokshi is the right choice for Health Commissioner,” said California Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris. “During this extraordinary time, he has the wisdom, experience and the heart to lead.”