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Indian-American Epidemiologist Appointed as New York City's Health Commissioner

Dr. Vasan, who runs a mental health nonprofit, warned that COVID is spreading faster than any of us really imagined.

Updated
Indian Diaspora
2 min read
Indian-American Epidemiologist Appointed as New York City's Health Commissioner
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Indian-American epidemiologist Dr Ashwin Vasan was announced as New York City's (NYC) new Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), the New York Times reported.

The announcement was made last week on 22 December, by NYC mayor-elect Eric Adams, who said that the city’s incumbent health commissioner, Dr Dave A. Chokshi, will continue with his job till the March next year, after which he will be replaced by Dr Vasan.

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Tweeting on his appointment, Dr Vasan wrote that he was "deeply honoured and humbled to" join the mayor-elect's "administration to help New Yorkers fight back against COVID-19, starting March 2022."

Dr. Vasan grew up in Chicago and has been an NYC resident for more than a 10 years.

He is the president of Fountain House New York-based mental health nonprofit, whose website says that it is "fighting for the dignity and dreams of people living with serious mental illness."

Dr Vasan is also a trained mental health expert, and a professor of public health at Columbia University.

His stellar education record includes a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology from Harvard University, an MD from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Talking about the sharp rise in COVID cases in NYC, Dr Vasan said that "it’s spreading faster than any of us really imagined, but we’re prepared, and our city’s response will continue to focus on vaccinations and testing and strategies to keep people out of the hospital, to keep people from severe outcomes and from death."

The current seven day average of COVID cases in NYC is around 20,000.

(With inputs from The New York Times)

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