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Governor Dan McKee today shared the news that Dr. James McDonald, MD, MPH, will be stepping down as the Interim Director at the Department of Health so that “he can focus on emerging healthcare needs of his family”. Dr. McDonald’s last day of State service will be July 29, 2022. He will continue as Interim Director while the Governor identifies a successor, according to the Governor’s office.

“Dr. McDonald has provided steady leadership to our state and great counsel to me as we continued our work to manage COVID-19,” said Governor McKee in a statement. “Rhode Islanders have come to know, love and trust Dr. McDonald for his easy-to-understand explanations and simple tips. Thanks to Dr. McDonald and his team, we know we have the tools to keep ourselves and our families safe. I thank Dr. McDonald for stepping up and taking on this interim position. We will be keeping his family in our thoughts.”

“As I shared in the letter I wrote to the Governor, this was a very difficult decision for me and my family,” said Dr. James McDonald, MD, MPH, Interim Director of RIDOH. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve in this capacity; however, at this time, I need to put the needs of my family first. I will always have wonderful and warm memories of my time spent here in this great state. I want to thank my colleagues at RIDOH for all the wonderful work they have done and for the important work I know they will continue to do.”

McDonald has served in this role since Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott departed the Rhode Island Department of Health at the end of January.

Dr. McDonald’s letter to Governor McKee can be found below.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.

He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.