‘We all need a little bit of time to heal.’ City’s new health commissioner to focus on mental health, ‘epidemic of loneliness

Dr. Ashwin Vasan has officially started his job as the city’s top health official, taking over for his predecessor Dr. Dave Chocski.

News 12 Staff

Mar 17, 2022, 2:19 AM

Updated 820 days ago

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Dr. Ashwin Vasan has officially started his job as the city’s top health official, taking over for his predecessor Dr. Dave Chocski. 
Wednesday marked his second day on the job after officially earning his title as the 44th Health Commissioner this week. 
“We need to do what New Yorkers always do. Innovate, push forward, hustle and we are going to emerge out from it better, stronger, and more capable of taking on the world,” said Dr. Vasan. 
This comes as New Yorkers say they hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel, bidding farewell to a public health crisis. 
“We all need a little bit of time to heal. To breathe out, to find out what it’s going to take for each of us to heal and to restore ourselves,” said Dr. Vasan. 
As the city returns to a new normal and cases surge in countries from Europe to China, the health commissioner says he hopes to guide the city with the help of new tools to fight back. 
He says another pandemic is mental health, which needs to be addressed right away. 
The public servant is expected to focus on mental health and what his predecessor has called the city’s “epidemic of loneliness.”
Dr. Vasan toured the facilities of “Project Renewal” in Harlem, which provides support and resources from clinical care to housing care to address needs.


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