LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive and a top pandemic adviser to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, is leaving state government for a new job.
She will be replaced at least temporarily by Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, a senior public health physician in the Department of Health and Human Services who oversaw the state’s COVID-19 testing strategy.READ MORE: MRLA Offering Free Food Safety Classes for Kids
Khaldun, whom the governor calls “Dr. J,” was appointed as chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health in March 2019. She also is a practicing emergency physician at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
“While we wish we could keep Dr. J at the helm, I wish her the best of luck as she moves on to a well-deserved opportunity,” Whitmer said in a statement. “The state of Michigan and I are incredibly grateful for your service.”READ MORE: Whitmer: $32M Investment To Recruit, Retain Police Officers
Khaldun, who is Black, is credited with quickly recognizing the coronavirus’ disparate impact on communities of color and helping to form a task force to reduce disparities. She often participated in the governor’s COVID-19 news conferences.
The state has begun a search to select a permanent chief medical executive.MORE NEWS: Deputies Find Human Remains In Mid-Michigan Soybean Field
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