Michigan Medical Director Dr Joneigh Khaldun Accepts New Position Outside State Government



LANSING, Mich. – Dr. Joneigh Khaldoun, medical director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, has taken on a new position outside of state government and will be replaced by Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian while looking for a permanent replacement, Gov. Gretchen whitmer announcement.

“Thanks to Dr. J’s continued leadership, our state acted swiftly with the best data and science available to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save countless lives during the pandemic,” Whitmer said. “In the height of COVID-19, we stood side by side to keep our condition safe during one of the most difficult times in our lives. “

Khaldun’s last day will be September 30 and his new position will be announced in the coming weeks, according to the announcement.

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Bagdasarian will officially take the job on October 1, and the state is conducting a nationwide search for Khaldun’s permanent replacement.

Dr Natasha Bagdasarian (MDHHS)

Dr. J has also sounded the alarm on COVID-19 disproportionately impacting people of color, and she co-chaired the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, which has made significant progress towards reducing disparities of COVID-19 death rates for Michiganders of color, “Whitmer said.” While we wish we could keep Dr. J at the helm, I wish her well as she moves on to a well-deserved opportunity. The State of Michigan and I are extremely grateful for your service.

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“Michiganers statewide have benefited from Dr. Bagdasarian’s expertise through his work as the head of the state’s COVID-19 testing strategy to keep everyone safe. Dr Bagdasarian is a world renowned medical expert with extensive experience. She is a proven leader who will continue to guide us through the pandemic. I look forward to working with her as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and keep Michigan healthy. “

Bagdasarian has worked in Michigan and overseas for the past decade, according to the state. Since early 2020, she has provided technical advice on epidemic and COVID-19 preparedness to the international community.

For the past year, she served the state as the senior public health physician with the MDHHS, where she oversaw the SARS-CoV-2 testing strategy, the statement said.

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Bagdasarian received his medical degree from Wayne State University and his Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She completed training in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Michigan Medicine.

“The past few months have been full of challenges and unprecedented change on the public health front, and there is a lot of work to be done,” Bagdasarian said. “We cannot thank Dr. Khaldun enough for his work and leadership during his years with the City of Detroit, the State of Michigan and the MDHHS. I am honored to be appointed state medical director. I know we have a committed, purposeful and tireless team that cares deeply about public health and is moving beyond the current crisis. “

“I am very grateful to Governor Whitmer, Director Hertel and all of Michigan State Departments, Local Health Departments, Health Systems, Physicians and Community Organizations I have had the privilege of working with. over the past five years in my roles. in the Detroit Department of Health and in the state of Michigan, ”Khaldun said. “This job has been the honor of my life. I was inspired by the entire MDHHS team, their expertise and dedication to serving the people of Michigan. Dr Bagdasarian is an accomplished public health expert and epidemiologist and I have no doubts that she will serve the state well in this new role. It’s very bittersweet, but I’m thrilled with this new and unique opportunity to continue doing my life’s work to advance bold programs and policies that promote the health of all communities.

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