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Oxiris Barbot Steps Down as Health Commissioner, Replaced by Jackson Heights Resident

Dr. Oxiris Barbot and Mayor Bill de Blasio at her appointment in 2018 (New York City Mayoral Photography Office)

Aug. 4, 2020 By Christian Murray

The NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot has resigned and the mayor has already announced a replacement.

Barbot stepped down from the job this morning and Mayor Bill De Blasio appointed Jackson Heights resident Dr. Dave Chokshi to take over.

Barbot, according to the Daily News, wrote an e-mail to her staff this morning informing them of her decision. She resigned, according to the e-mail, in protest over de Blasio’s handling of the outbreak.

The mayor’s replacement, Dr. Chokshi, lives a few blocks from Elmhurst Hospital with his wife and infant.

He comes to the position having 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. Most recently, he served as a key leader in the city’s COVID-19 response, according to the mayor.

“Dr. Chokshi has spent his career fighting for those too often left behind,” de Blasio said in a statement. “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.”

Chokshi, a Rhodes Scholar, was raised in Baton Rouge and 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 also 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.

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, Chokshi did clinical work in Guatemala, Peru, Botswana, Ghana, and India.

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