Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday announced the nomination of Dr. James V. McDonald M.D., M.P.H. to serve as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health. Dr. McDonald has served as New York’s Acting Commissioner of Health since January 1.
“In the midst of unprecedented public health crises, the New York State Department of Health has done extraordinary work keeping New Yorkers safe and healthy,” Governor Hochul said. “Dr. James V. McDonald is a talented public health leader with the skills and experience necessary to lead our Department of Health. I am proud to nominate him to this critical role, and I look forward to working closely with him to protect the health of all New Yorkers.”
“Serving as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health is the honor of a lifetime,” Dr. James V. McDonald said. “I am deeply grateful to Governor Hochul for her confidence in me, and I look forward to working closely with my Department of Health colleagues to continue to deliver for New Yorkers.”
Dr. James V. McDonald is a native New Yorker who is originally from Cohoes and received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College. He joined the New York State Department of Health in July of 2022, serving as medical director of the Department’s Office of Public Health. He later was appointed Interim Director of the Center for Community Health and began serving as Acting Commissioner of Health on January 1 of this year.
Before returning to New York, Dr. McDonald spent a decade at the Rhode Island Department of Health where 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 Center for Customer Services 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 appointments at the Brown School of Public Health as well as the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Dr. McDonald earned his M.D. from Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, his pediatric residency in the U.S. Navy, and his preventive medicine residency from the State University of New York. He earned his MPH from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and earned his B.S. in Biology from Siena College. Dr. McDonald is board certified in pediatrics as well as preventive medicine.
His 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.