Rhode Island seeks next health department director

Governor McKee announces that health professionals will advise on the search for the next director of the health department

Providence, RI (STL.News) Governor Dan McKee announced a number of Rhode Island health professionals who will advise him in the search for an acting and permanent director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH).

“I thank the esteemed health care professionals who have stepped up to support our Administration in selecting a new director to lead the Rhode Island Department of Health,” Governor McKee said. “As we conduct the research, I want Rhode Islanders to know that our work to fight COVID-19, expand testing capacity and get more shots in the arm will continue. We have a strong team in place to ensure a smooth transition. We also recently reassigned former Director of Emergency Management Marc Pappas to lead our government-wide COVID response and Major General Christopher Callahan reactivated our Rhode Island National Guard to support us in each step of the process.

Advisors include: Megan Ranney, MD, MPH; John A. Stoukides, MD, ScD; Bradley J. Collins, MD, SFHM, FACP; Kristina Duarte, MD, ScM; Abdul Saied Calvino, MD, MPH, FACS; Heather A. Smith, MPH, MD, FACOG; and Chris Abhulime, DMV, MS, PMHNP-BC.

Megan Ranney, MD, MPH

Megan Ranney, MD, MPH is a practicing emergency physician, federally funded researcher, and national advocate for innovative approaches to healthcare. She is Academic Dean of the School of Public Health, as well as founding director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health, and is currently the Warren Alpert Professor of Emergency Medicine and Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University. She holds several national leadership roles, including co-founder and senior strategic advisor for AFFIRM at the Aspen Institute (http://www.affirmresearch.org [r20.rs6.net]), a nonprofit organization committed to ending the epidemic of gun violence through a nonpartisan public health approach; she was co-founder and chair of the board of directors of GetUsPPE.org [r20.rs6.net], a non-profit start-up that provided personal protective equipment to those who needed it most across the country. She has received numerous awards for technological innovation, public health and research, and is a leading national voice on the health care system and the public health response to COVID-19. Dr. Ranney earned his MD, Alpha Omega Alpha graduate, from Columbia University, and his Masters in Public Health from Brown University. She completed her residency in emergency medicine and an injury prevention fellowship at Brown University.

John A. Stoukides, MD, ScD.

John A. Stoukides, MD, ScD. is certified in internal medicine, hospice and palliative medicine, quality assurance and utilization review. He is Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Roger Williams Medical Center and is also Medical Director of Utilization Management for CharterCARE Health Partners. He oversaw the COVID vaccination program at CharterCARE hospitals. He received his Pharmacy degree from URI and his MD from Tufts University School of Medicine as well as an Honorary Doctor of Science in Geriatrics from URI in 2005. He is a Clinical Professor of Pharmacy at URI , Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University and is an Associate Professor of Nursing at URI.

Bradley J. Collins, MD, SFHM, FACP

Bradley J. Collins, MD, SFHM, FACP is an internist and hospitalist at Miriam Hospital. He is an associate professor of medicine at Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. He is currently president of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Society of Hospital Medicine and is a current member and past president of the Rhode Island Medical Society. Collins received her medical degree from Pennsylvania State University and completed her residency at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School.

Kristina Duarte, MD, ScM

Kristina Duarte, MD, ScM is a family physician at Providence Community Health Centers. She received her medical degree from Dartmouth School of Medicine. After completing her family medicine residency at Brown University School of Medicine’s affiliate site at Memorial Hospital in Rhode Island, Dr. Duarte completed a Master of Science in Epidemiology at Brown University during a two-year clinical fellowship. years in maternal and child health. For 11 years, Dr. Duarte was associate director of the family medicine residency program at Brown University. She has received numerous teaching awards. She is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and continues to teach while focusing on clinical work.

Abdul Saied Calvino MD, MPH, FACS

Dr. Calvino received his medical degree from the University of Panama School of Medicine and his Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He completed his residency in general surgery at UIC and his fellowship in surgical oncology at Roger Williams Medical Center. He is board certified in general surgery and surgical oncology. In addition to his clinical practice, he has established an active community outreach and cancer navigation program to improve access to surgical care in underserved populations. For the impact of his work on the community, he has received numerous local and national awards and honors, including the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Carol Friedman Award for Excellence in Combating disparities in cancer care.

Heather A. Smith, MPH, MD, FACOG

Heather A. Smith, MPH, MD, FACOG is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, educator, and leader in women’s health advocacy. She is an Assistant Professor at Brown University, serving as an Academic Generalist as well as Quality Director for the Emergency Department at Women & Infants Hospital. Her work centers on addressing disparities in maternal outcomes and patient experiences, with a focus on improving communication and community engagement. Active in health policy and advocacy, Dr. Smith is the current President of the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation, Vice President of the Council on Legislation as well as a delegate representing the American College for Obstetricians and Gynecologists to the AMA, and the Vice President of the Rhode Island Medical Society. After earning his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Virginia, Dr. Smith worked for City Year Boston and later worked in community outreach and education. She went on to earn a master’s degree in public health and a master’s degree in medical science from Boston University before attending medical school at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and completing her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Smith completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Services Research through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at Yale University.

Chris Abhulime, DVM, MS, PMHNP-BC

Chris Abhulime, DVM, MS, PMHNP-BC is Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Dan McKee. He will serve as a liaison between the councilors and the Governor’s Office. He is an accomplished clinician/biopharmaceutical scientist with over 15 years of technical, operational and managerial experience in clinical immunology, diagnostic testing, regulated bioanalysis, quality assurance, assay validation, clinical trials and laboratory automation. He is a Certified/Registered Mental Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and previously served as a Research Laboratory Director at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He earned a Master of Science from Regis College, a Masters of Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology from the University of Rhode Island, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

The Governor expects to engage one-on-one with these healthcare professionals and others throughout the research process.

Comments are closed.