Health Commissioner Daines Announces Staff Appointments

ALBANY, NY, May 16, 2007 – Valerie Grey, who has worked in government and health care advocacy for nearly 20 years, has been named Deputy Commissioner for Governmental Affairs, Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., announced today. She started in her new post May 14.

In her new role, Ms. Grey will be the Department of Health's main liaison with federal, state and local government elected representatives and officials. She will be a key consultant on pending legislation that affects the delivery and cost of health care services in New York.

Ms. Grey was most recently Director of Governmental Affairs for the law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP. She also worked in government affairs and regulator compliance with AmeriChoice of NY, which specializes in public sector health insurance products, and spent seven years at the Office of the State Comptroller, rising to Assistant Comptroller for Budget and Policy Analysis. She also worked seven years in senior-level positions for the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means, specializing in tax and health care policies.

Commissioner Daines also announced the appointment of Alithia L. Rodriguez-Rolon as Deputy Director in DOH's Office of Governmental Affairs. She will begin her new position on May 31, where she will assist Ms. Grey in managing the Office of Governmental Affairs.

Ms. Rodriguez-Rolon has worked for the New York State Nurses Association since 2000, and was most recently Associate Director of the Governmental Affairs Department. Earlier, she spent two years as a budget examiner in the State Division of the Budget.

"We are most fortunate to have Val and Alithia join the Health Department," Commissioner Daines said. "The depth of the experience in health care policy, regulation and public finance is invaluable to us. They are well known for their knowledge, negotiation skills and critical thinking."

Ms. Grey replaces Wendy E. Saunders, who had served as Director of Governmental Affairs until her appointment in April 2007 as Chief of Staff.