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Ashwin Vasan

Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Physician & Epidemiologist

Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Physician & Epidemiologist

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New York, NY, USA
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Ashwin Vasan Biography

Dr. Ashwin Vasan is the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Vasan is a primary care physician, epidemiologist and public health expert with nearly 20 years of experience working to improve physical and mental health, social welfare and public policy for marginalized populations here in New York City, nationally and globally. Since 2014 he has served on the faculty at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and he continues to see patients as a primary care internist in the Division of General Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Dr. Vasan most recently served as the President and CEO of Fountain House, a national nonprofit fighting to improve health, increase opportunity, and end social and economic isolation for people most impacted by mental illness. During his tenure, he grew the organization from a New York-based community mental health organization to a national network across eight markets, and grew the budget by nearly $20 million annually. He helped navigate the organization through COVID-19 by driving new telehealth and digital mental health programs while its physical locations closed, as well as developing new community-based outreach and accompaniment programs. Further, Dr. Vasan led the creation of a national policy office in Washington, D.C., working to change national mental health policy on the issues of crisis response services and funding for and quality of community-based mental health services.

From 2016 to 2019, Dr. Vasan served as the founding Executive Director of the Health Access Equity Unit at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which focused on the intersection of clinical and social services for the care of people involved in the justice system and other vulnerable populations — a first-of-its-kind government program in the nation. Under his leadership the team launched the NYC Health Justice Network — an innovative partnership between community-based primary care providers, criminal legal system reentry organizations, the Health Department and the Fund for Public Health — to embed tech-enabled, peer community health workers to promote health and wellness of people reentering the community from incarceration, and their families. The program is currently under evaluation through the CDC Prevention Research Center grant to NYU and CUNY.

Early in his career, Dr. Vasan spent nearly a decade at the intersection of global health, HIV and primary care, working with the nonprofit Partners In Health (PIH) in Rwanda, Lesotho and Boston, and at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Uganda and Geneva. At PIH, he led efforts to improve integrated primary care and HIV care delivery using WHO Integrated Management guidelines and training. Dr. Vasan worked as a Technical Officer under Dr. Jim Yong Kim on the WHO/UNAIDS "3by5 Initiative" to expand HIV treatment access in the developing world, focusing on pricing and access to HIV medications, and on health worker training and education, and he then supported the Ugandan government in the scale-up and quality improvement of HIV treatment in the southwest of the country, among the first areas in sub-Saharan Africa to attempt front-line government HIV treatment.

Dr. Vasan received his BA in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles; his ScM in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health; his MD from the University of Michigan; and his PhD in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He completed his clinical training in internal medicine-primary care at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He has published widely in the academic literature in journals such as the Lancet, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Health Policy and Planning, and AIDS, and has been featured in mainstream media outlets, including the New York Times, BBC World News, NPR, Al Jazeera, the Guardian, and NBC News Think.

He is a proud husband and father of three school-aged children who fill up every free moment of his time.

Ashwin Vasan Videos

  • NYC's Role in the National Crisis of Social Media & Youth Mental Health
    On June 8th, 2023, NYC Commissioner of Health Dr. Ashwin Vasan hosted a impactful event highlighting the necessity to address growing concerns of...
  • From Crisis to Revolution after COVID: A Mental Health Vision for NYC
    Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan shares his vision for mental health in New York City.
  • Commissioner Ashwin Vasan Introduction
    Learn more about Dr. Ashwin Vasan and his priorities as the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene:...

FAQs on booking Ashwin Vasan

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  • What are the speaker fees for Ashwin Vasan

    Speaking fees for Ashwin Vasan, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Ashwin Vasan are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Ashwin Vasan, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Ashwin Vasan speak about?

    Ashwin Vasan is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Health, Mental Health, Public Health.
  • Where does Ashwin Vasan travel from?

    Ashwin Vasan generally travels from New York, NY, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Ashwin Vasan for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Ashwin Vasan for your next private or corporate function.
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Ashwin Vasan is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Ashwin Vasan for your event is available upon request. Ashwin Vasan generally travels from New York, NY, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Dr. Joel Selanikio, Georges C. Benjamin, MD, Charlotte Jones-Burton, Jean Accius and Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH.. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Ashwin Vasan for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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