McKee appoints new acting health director while continuing the search for permanent leader • Rhode Island Current

Gov. Dan McKee has named Dr. Staci Fischer as acting director for the Rhode Island Department of Health, effective March 29. Fischer will replace interim state health director Dr. Utpala Bandy, who is retiring from her position.

Fischer currently serves as the chief administrative officer for the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline and has a salary of $207,000, according to the state payroll database. She has also been working for the health department since July 2023 and serves as one of the state’s medical directors. Fischer has experience overseeing training for medical residents and fellows and previously practiced at Rhode Island Hospital for 15 years.

The search for a permanent health director is ongoing, with the state in the final stages of the hiring process, according to Olivia DaRocha, a McKee spokesperson. Bandy gave notice in January of her intent to resign from state office on March 29, leaving Fischer to take over as acting director until a permanent replacement is found.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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