Health Commissioner Shah Announces Administrative Appointments

Sue Kelly Named Executive Deputy Commissioner and Karen Westervelt Named Special Policy Advisor for Primary Care Development

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 3, 2011) – State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., today announced the appointment of Sue E. Kelly as Executive Deputy Commissioner and Karen S. Westervelt as Special Policy Advisor for Primary Care Development for the New York State Department of Health (DOH).

"Sue Kelly and Karen Westervelt bring valuable skills and experience to the Department, and will further enhance our ability to provide the highest standards of health care and public health in the nation," said Commissioner Shah. "We are pleased to welcome them back to DOH as we work to protect and advance the health of all New Yorkers."

Sue Kelly has more than 25 years of senior management experience in public and private health systems, public policy development and program implementation. Most recently, she served as the Associate Regional Administrator for the New York office of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In this position, she directed the Division of Medicaid and Children's Health and provided oversight and guidance for Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Programs in New York, New Jersey, and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Before joining CMS, Ms. Kelly was the Regional Director for Adirondack Medicine Inc., an independent practice association of more than 350 primary care practitioners and medical specialists.

Ms. Kelly also has extensive DOH experience, including serving as Deputy Commissioner and Medicaid Director, Executive Deputy Director in the Office of Public Health, Assistant Director of the Health Surveillance Group in the Office of Health Systems Management, Associate Director of the Division of Family Health, and Administrator for the Kidney Disease Institute in the Wadsworth Centers for Laboratories and Research. She also has been a Clinical Associate Professor at the University at Albany School of Public Health.

A graduate of Le Moyne College, she earned her Master's degree in Health Systems Management from Union Graduate College, and her Master's degree in Bioethics jointly granted by Union Graduate College and Albany Medical College.

Karen Westervelt returns to DOH from the Ryan/Chelsea-Clinton Community Health Center in New York City, where she served as Executive Director from 2004 to 2011. She was responsible for managing and directing the delivery of quality, comprehensive primary and specialty health services, including fiscal and administrative duties, planning, and policy development and implementation.

Ms. Westervelt has held numerous positions at DOH, including Director of the Office of Executive and Advisory Council Operations, Executive Secretary for the New York State Public Health Council, Government Relations Coordinator, and Health Program Administrator at the AIDS Institute.

A graduate of Russell Sage College, Ms. Westervelt has also served as the Chair of the Community Health Center Association of New York State Statewide Reimbursement Task Force since 2009.