• Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

McKee appoints new acting health director while continuing the search for permanent leader • Rhode Island Current

BySamantha Johnson

Mar 28, 2024
McKee appoints new acting health director while continuing the search for permanent leader • Rhode Island Current

One day before interim state health director Dr. Utpala Bandy is slated to retire, Gov. Dan McKee has named her replacement. Dr. Staci Fischer will take over the Rhode Island Department of Health as acting director. In an email Thursday afternoon, Olivia DaRocha, a McKee spokesperson, said the governor has named Dr. Staci Fischer as acting director for the Rhode Island Department of Health. The search for a permanent health director is ongoing, with the state in the final stages of the hiring process, according to DaRocha.

Bandy, who has served as interim health director since June 2023, gave notice in January of her intent to resign from state office effective March 29. Fischer, who currently serves as the chief administrative officer for the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline, will fill in as the acting director. She has a salary of $207,000 according to the state payroll database, compared to the $175,000 salary of the health director position. McKee has proposed a $250,000 salary effective in April to make the position more attractive to potential candidates.

Fischer has been working for the health department since July 2023 and also serves as one of the state’s medical directors. She has previously practiced at Rhode Island Hospital for 15 years and has experience overseeing training for medical residents and fellows. Her resume includes positions as the director of the Infectious Disease Fellowship Program at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, and with the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education. Fischer graduated from Tulane University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and completed her doctorate in medicine at Louisiana State University School of Medicine.

By Samantha Johnson

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