In a statement released December 2, 2022, New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett announced her intent to depart her position leading the Department of Health as of January 1, 2023. Commissioner Bassett was appointed by Governor Kathy Hochul in September of 2021, assuming leadership of the department following the resignation of the previous commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker.
Commissioner Bassett indicated that she will be leaving her current position “so the next commissioner can have the chance to lead this great department for a full 4-year term under the leadership of Gov. Hochul.” Dr. Bassett has stated that she will return to work at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she had served as director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights prior to her appointment by the Governor.
Commissioner Bassett’s tenure is marked by her steady leadership as the state navigated significant changes in policy in response to COVID-19, strategic investments in and focus on health equity, reorganization of the state’s vision for serving aging New Yorkers, and steering the state’s response to both mpox and polio outbreaks over the past year.
While candidates to succeed Commissioner Bassett to lead the department are as yet unclear, the Manatt team will continue to monitor developments in Albany and update clients as additional information becomes available.