NEW YORK: Indian American doctor Dave Chokshi has been appointed as Health Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to lead the next phase of city’s fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).
Appointing him, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday said Chokshi was a “leader and a visionary” who was “ready to fight this fight” against the pandemic as city girded itself against the risk of a second flare up and the oncoming flu season.
“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.
— City of New York (@nycgov) August 4, 2020
“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 said.
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, said a new release.
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.
Dr. Chokshi 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.
Meanwhile, the city had more than 2,22,000 COVID-19 cases with over 23,000 deaths.
Schools are set to start soon requiring special health measures and more offices and businesses will be opening under close monitoring.