Dr. Bassett will be returning to the Harvard School of Public Health where she worked for three years before being named New York’s health commissioner in 2021. She replaced Dr. Howard Zucker, who resigned amid criticism over how the state handled nursing home deaths at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Bassett’s statement is below:
“I have submitted my resignation as New York State Health Commissioner effective January 1, 2023, when I will return to the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. This was a very difficult decision. I have tremendous admiration for the work our staff has done during a very difficult year responding to COVID, mpox, polio and the day-to-day challenges of protecting New Yorkers’ health. I am leaving now so the next commissioner can have the chance to lead this great department for a full 4-year term under the leadership of Gov. Hochul. I am grateful that the Governor gave me the opportunity to serve as commissioner, and I know that the department and public health will be in good hands thanks to her leadership and the incredible talent and dedication of the staff. Though I am moving back to Massachusetts, I will always be a New Yorker, and I look forward to cheering on the department’s accomplishments in the coming years.”