Governor McKee Names Health Department Leadership Team

Governor McKee has named a leadership team to help in the transition with the State Health Department as Dr Nicole Alexander Scott leaves in order to pursue other interests.

Governor Dan McKee today announced a team of leaders to support the transition at the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) while the search continues for a permanent director.

The leadership team includes:

James McDonald, MD, MPH will assume the day-to-day responsibilities of RIDOH Director while the search for a permanent candidate continues.

Ana Novais has over 35 years of public health experience. She currently serves as Assistant Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. In this temporary assignment, Novais will be proving daily operational support to Dr. McDonald and the Department in areas such as policy, programming and legislative processes.

Ernie Almonte currently serves as Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. In this temporary assignment, Almonte will provide managerial support on department finances, budgeting, and other fiscal operations.

Chris Abhulime, DVM, MS, PMHNP-BC is Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Dan McKee. He will serve as the liaison between the advisors and the Governor’s Office. In this temporary assignment, Abhulime will provide operational support to the Department.

“Rhode Islanders should feel extremely confident in this team’s collective experience and knowledge as we diligently endeavor to find a new permanent RIDOH director,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “I’m especially proud that my Chief of Staff has answered the call to serve our state in this new critical role. Ernie’s talents, qualifications, and experience will certainly serve us well as we fight against this latest surge. My office continues to do everything within its power to support Rhode Island’s COVID-19 response efforts.”

The Governor has not said what his timetable for a new Health Commissioner.

(Picture provided by State Health Department)

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