Senator Kemp Hannon
6th District New York

The Senate Standing Committee on Health, chaired by Senator Kemp Hannon (R, C, I - Garden City), heard from witnesses today regarding the nomination of Nirav Ramesh Shah, M.D., M.P.H., as the Commissioner of Health for New York State.

The Health Committee voted in favor of advancing Dr. Shah’s nomination. The nomination of Dr. Shah is now subject to the Finance Committee’s review later today.  

“After the oral testimony of Dr. Shah's associates and the careful examination of his expertise, it is clear Dr. Shah is well qualified for this position,” said Senator Hannon. “A review of Dr. Shah's writings and work in a wide-ranging number of public health and medical issues challenging America today, illustrate his preparedness for being the Commissioner of Health for New York State.”

Dr. Shah is an assistant professor of medicine in the section of value and comparative effectiveness at NYU Langone Medical Center, and an internist at Bellevue Hospital Center. He is an expert in use of systems-based methods to improve patient outcomes, a leading researcher in use of large scale clinical laboratories and electronic health records to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of care, and a nationally recognized thought leader in the very methods needed to transition to the future of lower-cost, more patient-centered, health care for the 21st century.

The Committee examined the background, character, and qualifications of Dr. Shah for the position of Commissioner of Health for New York State in light of his work experience and research in the public health arena. This examination was conducted with the cooperation of several colleagues and associates of Dr. Shah.

Marc Gourevitch, MD, MPH, Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, NYU School of Medicine said, “We are very fortunate that Dr. Shah will bring his deep knowledge of public health and health care delivery, clear-eyed vision, and passion for improving health to his position as Commissioner of Health.  The health of the people of New York will receive outstanding attention under his leadership.”

Carl Henningson, MD, MPhil, Attending Physician Jersey Shore University Medical Center said, “I have had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Nirav Shah for seventeen years. Nirav is a man of impeccable character and, in my view, he is by far the finest person, the most decent and brilliant individual I know, to fulfill the role of new Commissioner of Health in the State of New York. Dr. Shah has harnessed his remarkable talents as researcher, teacher, and physician, putting them at the service of many people throughout his distinguished career in public service.”

Mack Lipkin, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director, Primary Care Residency Education Program of NYU School of Medicine said, “Dr. Nirav Shah brings to NY State the smarts of an inner city doctor, the understanding of medicine and health of a top flight scholar, and the toughness, humility, and strength needed to nurture New York State’s Health System back to health and then take it forward to pre-eminence.”

Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH, MS Director, Center for Healthful Behavior Change and Associate Professor, NYU School of Medicine said, “Dr. Shah is adept at using creative approaches to develop innovative solutions to complex health care problems relevant to the care of minority and underserved populations. To this end, he is regarded as a pioneer and leader in the use of Comparative Effectiveness Research as a novel and practical way to translate evidence-based models of care from research into every day clinical practice. His skills in comparative effectiveness, which is now widely recognized as one of the best tools for the rapid and efficient translation of gains in medical science into everyday clinical practice, will be an invaluable asset to New York State. At this critical juncture, I can think of no better person to help realize the vast gains in medical knowledge achieved over the past decade for the people of New York State.”

Dr. Shah attended Harvard College for his undergraduate degree in biology, proceeding onto Yale School of Medicine where he received both his MD and MPH with a concentration  in Chronic Disease Epidemiology.  His postdoctoral training was accomplished at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

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