Dr. Robbie Goldstein, a senior policy adviser at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been appointed as the new commissioner for the state’s Department of Public Health.

Goldstein, who also is an infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, will take over for Margret Cooke beginning April 18. Cooke was appointed as acting commissioner in February 2022 after working for years at the agency as general counsel and will stay on in an advisory capacity to support the transition.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh said Goldstein will address some of the most critical issues facing Massachusetts residents, with a focus on health equity, inclusion, and reducing barriers to care, bringing his expertise not only from the CDC but also from his role as a physician.

In a statement, Goldstein said he would have an approach rooted in equity.

“The power and impact of public health are tremendous,” Goldstein said in a statement. “We face big challenges – among them, gun violence in our streets and homes, substance use taking the lives of too many, threats to reproductive health care, ongoing efforts to address COVID-19, and ensuring preparedness for whatever may come next.”

Amy Rosenthal, executive director at Health Care For All, praised Goldstein’s work with underrepresented groups. “We are confident that Commissioner Goldstein will work to eliminate barriers to ensure equitable care for all residents of the Commonwealth and look forward to working with such a caring and experienced individual,” she said in a statement.

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