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Top Michigan health official Khaldun leaving for new job

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun
Michigan Office of the Governor
/
Associated Press
Top Michigan health official Khaldun leaving for new job

Khaldun, who is Black, is credited with quickly recognizing the coronavirus’ disparate impact on communities of color and helping to form a task force to reduce disparities. She often participated in the governor’s COVID-19 news conferences.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive and a top pandemic adviser to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, is leaving state government for a new job.

She will be replaced at least temporarily by Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, a senior public health physician in the Department of Health and Human Services who oversaw the state’s COVID-19 testing strategy.

Khaldun, whom the governor calls “Dr. J,” was appointed as chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health in March 2019. She also is a practicing emergency physician at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

“While we wish we could keep Dr. J at the helm, I wish her the best of luck as she moves on to a well-deserved opportunity,” Whitmer said in a statement. “The state of Michigan and I are incredibly grateful for your service.”

Khaldun, who is Black, is credited with quickly recognizing the coronavirus’ disparate impact on communities of color and helping to form a task force to reduce disparities. She often participated in the governor’s COVID-19 news conferences.

The state has begun a search to select a permanent chief medical executive.

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