Rhode Island governor chooses search team for health director

PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) — The governor of Rhode Island is using a committee of Rhode Island health professionals to lead the search for the state’s next top public health official, who will continue to guide the response to the coronavirus pandemic. coronavirus.

Gov. Dan McKee announced Jan. 13 that Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of Rhode Island’s health department, was stepping down but would stay on for two weeks while a search for new leadership was made. She will also act as a consultant for three additional months to ensure continuity.

McKee said Friday that medical professionals would advise him on finding an interim and permanent director of the health department. McKee has chosen six doctors, plus his deputy chief of staff who will liaise between advisers and the governor’s office.

No reason for the resignation was provided in either the governor’s statement or Alexander-Scott’s resignation letter. She has been widely praised by state officials for her leadership during the pandemic. She has held this position since 2015.

The department’s deputy director, Tom McCarthy, said Thursday he was also stepping down.

McKee said the state’s director of emergency management was recently reassigned to lead the government’s response to the pandemic and the Rhode Island National Guard was reactivated to help.

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