Hochul picks Bassett for state health commissioner

Gov. Kathy Hochul has named a new state health commissioner. She’s appointed Dr. Mary Bassett to the position.

Hochul made the announcement in a news release issued Wednesday morning.

Basset has more than 30 years of experience. She currently serves as director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights in the department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Her appointment is effective Dec. 1.

"Our recovery from this pandemic requires tested leadership and experience to improve health equity and access across the state, and Dr. Bassett is perfectly equipped to lead the New York State Department of Health during this critical moment," Hochul said in a statement.

Bassett will replace Dr. Howard Zucker who announced his resignation last week.