Novello Appoints Berens General Counsel

Albany, October 6, 2000 – State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr. P.H. today announced the appointment of Donald P. Berens, Jr. as the Department's General Counsel.

Mr. Berens, of Latham, has an extensive professional background in both law and government, and most recently served as Executive Director of the New York State Ethics Commission. Previously, he was employed by the State Department of Law as Deputy Attorney General for the Division of State Counsel and Assistant Attorney General for the Claims Division. Prior to entering government service, he was an associate at the Rochester law firm of Harter, Secrest and Emery.

"With his wealth of knowledge and professional expertise, Donald Berens will be a tremendous asset to this Department as we strive to accomplish Governor Pataki's goal of making New Yorkers the healthiest people in the nation," Dr. Novello said. "I look forward to working closely with Mr. Berens on issues of critical importance to the health and well being of each and every New Yorker."

Berens is a 1973 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1970 graduate of Williams College. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee for Attorneys in Public Service and served on the Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group for the United States District Court, Northern District of New York. He is the published author of several journal articles.

Married, and the father of two children, Mr. Berens is a skilled mountaineer, who has climbed in the Alps, Andes and each of the 50 states, including New York's High Peaks.

In his role as General Counsel, Mr. Berens will be responsible for advising the Commissioner on all legal issues which affect the Department. He replaces Henry M. Greenberg, who has served as State Health Department General Counsel since 1995. Mr. Greenberg has accepted a position in a private law practice.

10/6/00–120 OPA