Robert Goldstein appointed public health commissioner for Mass. – NBC Boston

Robert Goldstein appointed public health commissioner for Mass. – NBC Boston

Robert Goldstein, an infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, will become the state’s public health commissioner on April 18, Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh announced Tuesday.

Goldstein is also currently a senior policy adviser at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

He will succeed Margret Cooke, who was public health commissioner under former Governor Charlie Baker and plans to remain in an advisory role during a transition period.

“I am proud that Robbie is joining us at DPH as we work to address some of the most critical issues facing all Massachusetts residents, with a focus on health equity, inclusion and reducing barriers to care for our state’s most vulnerable communities. His expertise both as a physician and as a policy advisor positions him well to lead the public health response in Massachusetts, and I appreciate his willingness to serve in this role,” Walsh said.

Goldstein said the department faces great challenges, including gun violence, substance abuse, threats to reproductive health care and ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19.

“With an approach grounded in equity and a commitment to include those who have too often faced structural barriers in their path, we can meet this moment and improve the health of all Commonwealth residents.”

Goldstein was the medical director and founder of the Massachusetts General Hospital Transgender Health Program, according to the Healey administration, and focused his clinical work on providing care for people living with HIV and at risk. He earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Tufts University, completed his residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he served as chief resident, and completed his training in infectious diseases through the MGH/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Infectious Diseases Program.

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