Department of Health, Executive Leadership Team

Photo of James V. McDonald, MD, MPH.

Dr. James V. McDonald, Commissioner

James V. McDonald M.D., M.P.H., was appointed Acting Commissioner of Health January 1, 2023 and confirmed by the Senate June 9th, 2023. Prior to joining the New York State Department of Health in July of 2022, Dr McDonald served at the Rhode Island Department of Health since 2012.

At the Rhode Island Department of Health, he served in multiple roles including, Interim Director of Health, Chief Administrative Officer of the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline, Medical Director for the COVID unit, as well as the Medical Director for Division of Health care quality and safety and the Drug Overdose prevention program. He was also a member of the Governor’s task force on Preventing Overdose deaths. Dr. McDonald has faculty appointment at the Brown School of Public Health.

Dr. McDonald earned his M.D. from Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, his pediatric residency in the US Navy, and his preventive medicine residency from the State University of New York. He earned is MPH from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He earned his B.S. in Biology from Siena College. Dr. McDonald is board certified in pediatrics as well as preventive medicine.

His diverse career includes officership in the U.S. Navy, as well as private practice in rural areas where health care shortages existed. Dr. McDonald also served in the Indian Health Service in in the Navajo Nation, serving as Medical Director of Outpatient Medicine in Chinle, Arizona.

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Johanne Morne, Executive Deputy Commissioner

Johanne E. Morne (she, her, hers) is the Executive Deputy Commissioner and previously the Deputy Commissioner, Office of Health Equity and Human Rights (OHEHR) for the New York State Department of Health. Ms. Morne was appointed in August 2022 as a member of the Department’s Cabinet, to lead the Department’s health equity and human rights planning, policy development, and programming.

Ms. Morne also worked for the AIDS Institute for 15 years, serving as the Director for six of those years. The AI portfolio includes HIV and other sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention and care, viral hepatitis prevention and treatment, drug user health and wellness, and LGBTQ+ health and human services. Ms. Morne’s leadership has advanced the State’s Ending the AIDS Epidemic and Hepatitis C Elimination initiatives. Her leadership led to NYSDOH implementing essential policy changes to promote expanded access to HIV, STI and Hepatitis C prevention, treatment, and care, as well as furthering statewide harm reduction programming and LGBTQ+ service delivery. Ms. Morne’s early career included leadership positions in public health, domestic violence, substance use, organizational development, and organizational change.

Ms. Morne served as a board member of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), serving as the Board Chair from 2019 to 2020 and on the Executive Committee from 2018 - 2022. In 2019, Ms. Morne was appointed to the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee (CHAC) on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment. The CHAC advises the HHS Secretary, the CDC Director, and the HRSA Administrator on objectives, strategies, policies, and priorities for HIV, viral hepatitis, and STD prevention and treatment efforts.

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Maclain Berhaupt, Chief of Staff

Maclain Berhaupt is the Chief of Staff to the Commissioner. In this capacity, she assists the Commissioner and senior leadership team with agency management, strategic initiatives and supporting public health responses to emerging issues.

Maclain brings more than 20 years of policy and management experience in the fields of healthcare, affordable housing, social services and community development. She previously served as the Deputy Chief of Staff at NYSDOH. Prior to joining NYSDOH, Maclain served in several positions at the Supportive Housing Network of New York, the nation’s premier supportive housing membership organization, with more than 200 nonprofits throughout New York State. Over the 12 years at the Network she served as Interim Executive Director, Associate Executive Director and State Policy Director advancing several policy and funding initiatives including collaborating with the NYSDOH and Medicaid Redesign Team to secure and develop a $75 million supportive housing program serving high-need Medicaid recipients and working directly with State and New York City governments to manage the Network's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dr. Ursula Bauer, PhD, MPH, Deputy Commissioner for Public Health

Ursula E. Bauer, PhD, MPH, is the deputy commissioner for public health at the New York State Department of Health. She directs the Office of Public Health and leads the Office’s portfolio addressing chronic diseases, infectious diseases, injuries, environmental health, maternal, child and family health, and other areas of public health concern.

Prior to joining NYSDOH in August 2021, she served as senior advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General, where she advanced partnership strategies to increase investment in communities and led the development of Community Health and Economic Prosperity: Engaging Businesses as Stewards and Stakeholders—A Report of the Surgeon General.

Prior to joining the Surgeon General’s Office in 2018, she directed the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a position she held for eight-and-a-half years.

Dr. Bauer held leadership positions in state health departments in Louisiana, Florida and New York, and holds a PhD in Epidemiology from Yale University, an MPH in Family Health from Columbia University, and a Master’s degree in Political Science from Rutgers University.

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Dr. Eugene Heslin, First Deputy Commissioner and Chief Medical Officer

Strategic, entrepreneurial, results-driven physician and healthcare leader with extensive experience and success leading health system transformation and working across public and private payers on initiatives that span local, state and federal government to improve access to high quality healthcare services. Many years of clinical experience and practice management, combined with an expertise in healthcare information technology and data analytics, have allowed me to achieve top performance metrics and outcomes, as well as optimization of value based payments through development of consumer centric population health programs. In addition to my work on these and other major healthcare policy issues, I have brought essential and collaborative leadership throughout the COVID pandemic, identifying key issues, analyzing multiple complex data and developing and executing real time solutions for a broad range of challenges that presented throughout the crisis. As an actively practicing physician in the NYS DOH, my clinical care activity allows me to apply real time, current clinical care delivery expertise to development and implementation of healthcare policy initiatives and acute situational response.

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Kathy Marks, General Counsel

Kathy Marks joined the Department as General Counsel in November 2020. In this role, she oversees more than 100 attorneys and staff in nine different Bureaus. Among other things, these Bureaus provide legal advice to the Department in all program areas; draft, review, and comment on legislation and regulations; represent the Department in defensive and affirmative litigation; prosecute physicians and physicians assistants charged with professional misconduct; enforce the Public Health Law and sections of the Social Services Law in administrative hearings; and respond to requests for records submitted pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law.

Prior to joining the Department, Kathy was a commercial litigator specializing in health care, the False Claims Act, and government investigations. From 2007 to 2010, Kathy served as Counsel to the NYS Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. From 1991 to 2007, Kathy served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, including serving as Chief of the Immigration Unit and Deputy Chief of Appeals. Kathy is a graduate of Georgetown University and the Georgetown University Law Center.

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Amir Bassiri, Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Health Insurance Programs and New York State Medicaid Director

Mr. Bassiri is the Medicaid Director for the New York State Department of Health (DOH). He joined the Department of Health in 2019 as Chief of Staff to the Medicaid Director and recently served as the Deputy Medicaid Director, overseeing the operation and performance of nine Medicaid Divisions. Collectively, these nine Divisions are comprised of more than 750 State staff, over 500 contracted staff and management of over 300 contracts, including some of the State's largest technology, actuarial and financial audit contracts, along with health plans. Prior to his work with the Department, he worked as a Senior Policy Advisor for Health in the Governor's Office under the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services. He earned his B.A. in both Economics and Psychology from the University of California, Davis, before earning a Master’s in Social Work (M.S.W) from Columbia University.

Photo of Douglas G. Fish, M.D.

Dr. Douglas G. Fish, M.D., Acting Deputy Commissioner of Primary Care and Health Systems Management

Douglas Fish is a native of Ohio, having attending Ohio State University for medical school. He did his internal medicine residency at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and the University of Arizona in Tucson. He completed his Infectious Disease fellowship at the University of Arizona, as well.

After working in public health in Tennessee for a couple of years, he moved to Albany, New York to practice Infectious Diseases at Albany Medical Center, where he became the Medical Director for their Designated AIDS Center and an Associate Professor of Medicine. He practiced full time at Albany Medical Center over 20 years, before coming to the Dept. of Health’s Office of Health Insurance Programs in 2015, where he became the Chief Medical Officer and head of the Division of Medical and Dental Directors. He is board certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases and has continued providing weekend coverage for Albany Medical Center’s HIV service.

Dr. Fish assumed the role of the Acting Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Primary Care and Health Systems Management in December 2023.

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Tina Kim, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Health Equity and Human Rights

Tina Kim (she, her, hers) is the Acting Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Health Equity and Human Rights (OHEHR) at the New York State Department of Health. Tina leads the day-to-day operations of the Office of Health Equity and Human Rights, and is responsible for developing, shaping, and implementing the Department's policies and programs advancing health equity, human rights, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The Office of Health Equity and Human Rights leads the New York State Department of Health's commitment and strategy to be a diverse, anti-racist, equitable and inclusive organization.

Prior to the New York State Department of Health, Tina was appointed in January 2021 to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health for the State of New York. Within the Governor's State Operations Office, Tina developed and implemented cross-cutting, statewide public health and health care initiatives and strategies across New York State. Before joining New York State government, Tina held prominent leadership positions in New York City government. Tina was Chief of Staff for the Deputy Executive Director leading the nation’s largest COVID-19 testing and contact tracing operation in New York City. She also served as Senior Advisor for Health Care Delivery in the New York City Mayor’s Office. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Tina helped design and launch New York City's mayoral Guaranteed Care initiative, which includes the NYC Care program that provides health care services for uninsured New York City residents. She also designed other citywide health and public health initiatives involving cross-agency collaboration, most notably the Asthma-Free Bronx program to address pediatric asthma in the Bronx.

Tina has worked in policy roles for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, the Gates Foundation, Asian and Pacific Islander Health Forum and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Tina holds a Master's of Science in Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Tina assumed the role of the Acting Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Health Equity and Human Rights in August 2023.

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Andrew Ruby, Deputy Commissioner for Administration

Andrew Ruby is the Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the New York State Department of Health. In this role, he coordinates the efforts of fiscal management, human resources management, operations management, and audit services.

He has served with the Department since 2013, including six years as the director of fiscal management. Prior to his time with the Department, he worked at the Division of the Budget.

Andrew holds a Master of Public Administration from Rockefeller College, SUNY Albany, and B.S. in Biology from Rochester Institute of Technology.

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Danielle Holahan, Executive Director, NY State of Health

Danielle Holahan was appointed Executive Director of the NY State of Health, New York’s Health Plan Marketplace, in September 2021 after serving as Deputy Director since April 2011. One of the nation’s most successful marketplaces, NY State of Health provides consumers a one-stop shopping experience to enroll in high-quality comprehensive coverage, including Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan (New York’s Basic Health Program) and subsidized and unsubsidized Qualified Health Plans. Since the Marketplace opened in 2013, NY State of Health has seen a dramatic increase in enrollment, reaching 6.6 million enrollees in September 2022, and a commensurate reduction in the state’s uninsured from 10 percent to 5 percent in 2019.

From 1999 to 2011, Danielle worked at the United Hospital Fund of New York, where she was Co-Director of the Health Insurance Project. Her work focused on analysis of health insurance coverage issues, options for coverage expansion, and public program enrollment and retention. From 1994 to 1997, she worked at AARP's Public Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. Danielle holds a Bachelor of Arts from Franklin & Marshall College and a Master of Public Health from Columbia University's Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health.