Meet the New Health Commissioner: Dr. Mary T. Bassett is One of Our Own

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 -
8:45am to 11:00am EDT
Meet the New Health Commissioner: Dr. Mary T. Bassett is One of Our Own
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Philanthropy New York’s Health Policy Working Group is pleased to welcome Dr. Mary T. Bassett, the newly appointed Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Most recently, she has been a program director for African health and for child abuse prevention at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Previously, Dr. Bassett was a deputy health commissioner under Mayor Bloomberg. The New York Times reports that, while Mayor de Blasio has praised the health initiatives of former Mayor Bloomberg, especially efforts to reduce smoking and obesity, he also says that his administration would take a more “sensitive” tack, seeking advice from communities about the best ways to address problems in their midst. PNY members are asking a lot of questions about the Department’s new direction:

  1. What will it mean to proceed in a more sensitive way on public health? 
  2. What systems will be put in place or changed to better solicit advice from communities on health policy?
  3. What health initiatives will receive top priority? 
  4. What new initiatives might the de Blasio Administration undertake? 
  5. What role will philanthropy be asked to play in supporting ongoing and new initiatives?

This meeting with Commissioner Bassett, jointly presented with the Fund for Public Health, is an opportunity for any Philanthropy New York members to ask their own questions about the future of public health in New York City. 

The program will start with a brief presentation by Commissioner Bassett, followed by an interview segment led by Jim Knickman, President of the New York State Health Foundation. We will leave at least a half hour for Q&A.


  • New priorities for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • How new public health models based on national and international experiences will contribute to efforts in New York City
  • How the Department will coordinate with the philanthropic community

Co-Presented with


Designed for

All interested funders

  • 8:45-9:00 AM   Check-in
  • 9:00-11:00 AM  Program