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Four Indian American New Yorkers Among City & State’s ‘Health Care Power 100’

Four Indian American New Yorkers Among City & State’s ‘Health Care Power 100’

  • The annual list sheds light on these decision-makers in the medical world in the state who take their case to Albany and City Hall.

Four Indian American New Yorkers are among City & State’s Health Care Power 100. The annual list “sheds light on these decision-makers in the medical world in the state, including prominent public officials, influential hospital and health care executives, heads of other nonprofit providers, union leaders, academics and an array of advocates and activists who take their case to Albany and at City Hall, the publication says.

Included in the list are Ashwin Vasan, commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Darsana Srinivasan, Chief of Health Care Bureau at State Attorney General’s Office; Parag Mehta, president, Medical Society of the State of New York; and NYU Clinical Associate Professor Celine Gounder. This year’s rankings take into account “the legislative victories, labor battles, newly launched initiatives and other noteworthy developments from the past 12 months,” the publication added.  

New York City Mayor Eric Adams appointed Dr. Ashwin Vasan as the new health commissioner last March. City&State notes, that at the time, Vasan’s appointment, replacing “the city’s battle-tested COVID-19 defender” Dave Chokshi, “signaled the administration wanted to put the pandemic in the rearview and prioritize other aspects of public health.” However, as the “tripledemic” circulated in December, Vasan advised New Yorkers to wear masks in transit and indoors. “The mental health leader, who previously served on City&State’s advisory board, will also help carry out the mayor’s hospitalization directive for some homeless New Yorkers, which is facing legal challenges,” the publication noted. 

Darsana Srinivasan, who heads the health care bureau at State Attorney General’s Office, joined the state attorney general’s office less than two years ago, Since then, she has “already obtained refunds for pharmacy customers wrongfully charged for COVID-19 vaccines, urged Google to revise its search results concerning abortion providers and reached a $13 million agreement with UnitedHealthcare to pay consumers illegally denied mental health coverage,” the magazine notes. 

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Parag Mehta is president of the Medical Society of the State of New York, a professional organization representing over 30,000 licensed physicians, medical residents and students. Mehta, who succeeded Dr. Joseph R. Sellers as president after his election in May, is the chief medical information officer at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and previously served as president of the Kings County Medical Society. Under Mehta’s leadership, the Medical Society of the State of New York “has been contending with physician burnout and federal Medicare cuts,” City & State notes. 

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Celine Gounder was in news recently after the tragic death of her husband, Grant Wahl, at the 2022 World Cup. The daughter of an Indian father and French mother, Gounder, was a member of President Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board. She is currently a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation and editor-at-large for public health at Kaiser Health News, according to her LinkedIn profile. She is also a clinical associate professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine, and an attending physician at Bellevue Hospital Center and a CBS News medical news contributor. In addition, she is the host and producer of “American Diagnosis,” a podcast on health and social justice, and “Epidemic,” a podcast about the COVID-19 coronavirus. She is also the CEO, president, and founder of Just Human Production, a non-profit multimedia organization.

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