Mayor-elect Eric Adams announced Wednesday that city Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi will remain in his post until March 15 of next year.
Dr. Ashwin Vasan will then take over as health commissioner, said Adams, who added that Vasan will serve as senior adviser for public health "in the interim."
A press release from Adams' transition team says the appointments "will ensure continuity and a seamless transition of leadership as New York City continues to combat the surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant."
Chokshi has served in his current position since August 2020.
Vasan is the president and CEO of a national nonprofit named Fountain House that, according to the release, "aims to improve health, increase opportunity, and reduce social and economic isolation for people with serious mental illness." He also was previously executive director/agency deputy medical director of the Health Access Equity Unit within the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that "grew into a bureau focused on the health, clinical systems, and social welfare of those in the criminal legal system."
City commissioners staying on for a period of time after a mayoral transition is not unprecedented. Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty stayed on through most of the first three months of Bill de Blasio’s term in 2014 before being replaced by Kathryn Garcia.
The release states that Adams, Chokshi and Vasan will reveal a plan in the next week that "to ensure that City, State, and Federal resources are properly allocated to keep New York City residents safe from COVID-19."