HCN News & Notes

Dr. Robert Goldstein Appointed Commissioner of Massachusetts Department of Public Health

BOSTON — Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh announced that Dr. Robbie Goldstein will be the next commissioner of the Department of Public Health (DPH), effective April 18. Goldstein is currently a senior policy advisor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an infectious-disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

“I am proud to have Robbie join us at DPH as we work to address some of the most critical issues facing all residents in Massachusetts, with a focus on health equity, inclusion, and reducing barriers to care for the most vulnerable communities in our state. His expertise both as a physician and as a policy advisor positions him well to lead the public-health response in Massachusetts, and I appreciate his willingness to serve in this role,” Walsh said. “I want to extend my gratitude to Margret Cooke for her years of dedicated service to the Commonwealth, and particularly for her work as commissioner addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.”

At the CDC, Goldstein serves as an advisor to Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on public-health emergency response, infectious diseases, and CDC’s strategic policy initiatives. He has been actively engaged in the CDC’s emergency response to COVID-19 and the successful mission to control the 2022 outbreak of mpox. Prior to his time at CDC, he was the medical director and founder of the MGH Transgender Health Program, a multi-disciplinary clinical program that created a safe and affirming environment for the transgender and non-binary community of Massachusetts and New England. Trained in infectious diseases, with a specialty in HIV treatment and prevention, Goldstein has focused his clinical work on providing care to those living with and at risk for HIV. His experience caring for patients drives his academic and policy pursuits, identifying and working to eliminate barriers to equitable access to care.

“I am honored to be the next commissioner, and I am inspired by the opportunity to work alongside the extraordinary public-health workforce at DPH and across the Commonwealth,” Goldstein said. “The power and impact of public health are tremendous. We face big challenges, among them gun violence in our streets and homes, substance use taking the lives of too many, threats to reproductive healthcare, ongoing efforts to address COVID-19, and ensuring preparedness for whatever may come next. With an approach rooted in equity and a commitment to including those who too often have confronted structural barriers in their paths, we can meet this moment and improve the health of all residents in the Commonwealth.”