Indian American nominated as Connecticut’s Public Health Commissioner


An Indian American has been nominated as Connecticut’s Public Health Commissioner by the office of Governor Lamont on Monday 26 July.

Dr. Manisha Juthani an associate professor at the Yale University School of Medicine will succeed Dr Deidre Gifford to lead the Public Health Department, as he being promoted to the duty of Senior Advisor to the Governor for Health and Human Services.

Juthani praised the Governor and Dr Gifford’s leadership in helping Connecticut fight the coronavirus pandemic and said that she will continue with those efforts.

Juthani is expected to begin work with the health department on Sept. 20. Her annual salary will be $210,000.

Governor Lamont said Juthani’s experience and ongoing relationship with the administration have positioned her well for the job. The administration heard from more than 100 candidates nationally, interviewed dozens, and narrowed the pool to five finalists before naming Juthani.

“Dr. Juthani’s background in infectious diseases will be a tremendous benefit to the people of Connecticut as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen our vaccination efforts,” Lamont said Monday.

“When seeking candidates to serve in this role, Dr. Juthani’s name was recommended by many top experts in this field, and I am thrilled to have her join our administration. I’m incredibly proud that Connecticut is among the leading states in vaccinating our residents, but as this pandemic continues, we need to implement sound policies that will keep the rates of transmission as low as possible.”

“There is so much more work to do. This COVID pandemic has shined a light on the importance of public health, mental health, health equity, health care disparities, and access to health care – such important issues that I look forward to working on,” she said Monday.

“As the first Indian American commissioner in the state of Connecticut, it gives me great pride to showcase the multicultural state that we are and to showcase the path that any immigrant can take coming to the state.”

Under Dr Gifford’s leadership, I look forward to continuing their efforts related to COVID-19, mental health, health equity, health disparities, and access to healthcare going forward.

Dr. Juthani studied at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University after completing a BA degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania. Having been trained at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, she worked as chief resident at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre. She joined Yale in 2002 as part of a fellowship training and thereafter started working there as a faculty member.

In the press release, Governor Ned Lamont praised Juthani to have been recommended by “top experts” and that her experience with infectious diseases will benefit Connecticut’s response to the pandemic. He also stated that Connecticut has been doing good with the vaccinations, however there is a need for sound policies to keep the rate of transmission low.