New York State’s health care sector is responsible for a myriad of big policy and budgetary decisions, including Medicaid spending, confronting the opioid crisis and combatting the COVID pandemic. Health care is also a leading public- and private-sector employer with workers in clinics, hospitals, at-home care programs, nursing, pharmaceuticals and medical research. PoliticsNY’s Power Players in Health Care salutes these top public officials, policymakers, hospital and HMO executives, doctors, nurses, and labor, business and nonprofit leaders who manage the day-in and day-out work in the industry and envision a better health care future for all New Yorkers. The following list is organized alphabetically by last name.

To hear more from these leaders in health care, check out our video series PoliticsNY with Skye.

Jeff Alter

CEO, Summit Health

As chief executive officer of Summit Health, Jeff Alter leads a health care network comprised of over 2,000 providers and more than 9,000 employees spread across 200 locations in New York, New Jersey, and Central Oregon. Mr. Alter’s enthusiasm for patient-centered care is reflected in the mission of Summit Health, which seeks to integrate and simplify health care by expanding access and utilizing more efficient digital technologies. Before joining Summit Health, Mr. Alter served as executive vice president of Anthem Health Solutions and has served on the board of CityMD since 2017.

Mary Bassett

Commissoner, New York State Department of Health

With over 30 years of experience promoting health equity, Dr. Mary Bassett has been appointed by Governor Hochul as incoming commissioner of the Department of Health. Commissioner Bassett most recently held the position of director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. She also previously served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she worked to reduce health disparities between white communities and communities of color by addressing structural racism.

Albert Bourla

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer

Dr. Albert Bourla has served as Pfizer’s chief executive officer since 2019, although his career with the company spans more than 25 years and several roles. Most recently, he is credited with driving Pfizer’s transformation into a more innovative, science-driven organization which is now widely known for delivering a COVID-19 vaccine in record time. Before assuming his current role, Dr. Bourla was the company’s chief operating officer, and from 2014 to 2016 he was group president of Pfizer’s Global Vaccines, Oncology, and Consumer Healthcare business, where he was responsible for, among other things, developing the company’s leadership in vaccines.

LaRay Brown

Chief Executive Officer, One Brooklyn Health System

LaRay Brown was appointed in July 2017 as the chief executive officer of One Brooklyn Health System, Inc., serving central and northeast Brooklyn. Ms. Brown was instrumental in bringing together the three diverse boards of Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, Interfaith Medical Center, and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center to create One Brooklyn Health System. Ms. Brown previously held the position of senior vice president for corporate planning, community health, and intergovernmental relations at New York City Health and Hospitals, and also served as a member of former governor Andrew Cuomo’s health care transition and Medicaid Redesign teams. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Working with incredibly dedicated professionals who have a strong sense of mission.

What is your favorite form of exercise?

Do you have a favorite healthy meal?
Any seafood, salad, and brussels sprouts.

Joy D. Calloway

Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York

Joy D. Calloway is a transformational leader with 27 years of health care and nonprofit leadership experience. Since joining Planned Parenthood of Greater New York a year ago, Joy has steered the organization’s recovery from the COVID-19 health crisis with the reopening of five health centers across the state. Through her leadership, PPGNY is continuing to uphold its mission to create equitable access to sexual and reproductive health care for New Yorkers and people across the country who are unable to access compassionate, essential health services.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love problem-solving: pulling the right people together to dissect a problem, consider root causes and determine, enact and communicate a resolution.

What is your favorite form of exercise?
I have SERIOUSLY missed it, but I love ZUMBA classes! I also enjoy toning with weights.

Do you have a favorite healthy meal?
I’m a foodie, so it’s hard to pick an overall favorite; I have a new favorite every week as I explore New York’s restaurant scene. My CURRENT favorite is the roasted chicken salad at Lafayette restaurant in NYC.

Al Cardillo

President and Chief Executive Officer, Home Care Association of New York State

Al Cardillo is president and CEO of the Home Care Association of New York State, which is comprised of organizations that provide home and community-based care statewide. He has worked over the course of four decades in the health field in health services development, administration, legislation, budget, policy, health association management, and education. He is currently also on the adjunct faculty of the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the University at Albany.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
All facets of supporting providers, clinicians, and patients

What is your favorite form of exercise?
Uechi-ryu Karate-do – Fifth Degree Black Belt

Do you have a favorite healthy meal?

Andria Castellanos

Executive Vice President and Chief of Provider Services, Visiting Nurse Service of New York

As executive vice president and chief of provider services for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Andria Castellanos oversees all initiatives related to provider services. She applies a combination of strategic vision and operational management expertise to directing this vitally important part of the organization, with the goal of helping to ensure that the care VNSNY delivers meets the highest standards of quality, patient satisfaction and safety, operational efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Our teams have a real impact on the lives of those we serve, and that feels really good. “We did 2,500 Home Care visits today,” a colleague said recently — in just one VNSNY service area. Especially during the pandemic, it’s rewarding to know that the safety net we provide is making a real difference.

What is your favorite form of exercise?
Hiking with my German Shepherd Mary in the woods is my favorite exercise — and “hiking” in the City for her daily walks is pretty good too.

Do you have a favorite healthy meal?
I love to make homemade soups and usually cook up a pot on Sunday, so I have lunches for the week at work. Vegetable tofu soup with avocado on the side is a fave!

Dave Chokshi

Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Dr. Dave Chokshi is the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s commissioner and a renowned public health expert. He has been committed to improving New York’s health care system throughout his career, and is experienced in both city and state Departments of Health. Dr. Chokshi has also been active in emergency response services following natural disasters. Prior to assuming his current position, Dr. Chokshi served as chief population health officer at NYC Health + Hospitals.

John Coppola

Executive Director, New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers

John Coppola has worked as a clinician, administrator, and advocate throughout his career, most notably working to strengthen addiction prevention, treatment, recovery and harm reduction services. He has made contributions on a local, state, and national basis and is a valued participant in policy and program development. Most recently, John’s advocacy work has helped to increase federal funding for addiction services in NYS and ensure that opioid settlement funds are properly allocated to strengthen addiction services.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Helping people to see their innate power and goodness and celebrating the capacity of people to heal and live healthy lives in recovery.

What is your favorite form of exercise?
Working outdoors, preferably in a garden or landscaping. A long walk in a natural setting is also a favorite.

Do you have a favorite healthy meal?
Grilled salmon with freshly picked vegetables.

Steven Corwin

President and Chief Executive Officer, New York-Presbyterian

Steven J. Corwin, M.D., is president and chief executive officer of New York-Presbyterian, one of the nation’s largest, most comprehensive health care systems. Dr. Corwin has launched groundbreaking initiatives, including the installation of a single, integrated, electronic medical record across NYP and the development of state-of-the-art care facilities. Under Dr. Corwin’s leadership, NYP undertook a multifaceted response to the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing inpatient capacity, staffing needs, equipment shortages, disease management, and patient and community education.

COVID-19 Clinical Advisory Task Force

New York Forward

Formed on September 29, 2020, the Clinical Advisory Task Force is an independent group of scientists and health experts who work together to advise New York State officials on vaccine safety and effectiveness. The Task Force was created to foster trust between researchers, the government, and the general public, as well as to reduce vaccine skepticism and hesitancy. After the FDA’s official recommendation of the Moderna vaccine, the Clinical Advisory Task Force worked extremely efficiently, approving the vaccine within a day and ensuring that New Yorkers had early access to their first shots.

Carlos Cuevas

Chief Strategy Officer, SOMOS Community Care

Carlos is the chief strategy officer at SOMOS, Independent Practice Association. SOMOS is a network of over 2,500 diverse, community-based providers that deliver culturally competent health care to predominantly low-income and minority communities in New York City. SOMOS’ patient population comprises over 20% of the New York City Medicaid population, a group that faces significant challenges accessing and maintaining care, including language barriers and social determinants of health. At SOMOS, Carlos is responsible for helping community-based physicians transition and thrive in an era of new payment models where reimbursements are tied to outcomes rather than volume.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Helping members of my community gain access to high-quality, culturally competent health care.

What is your favorite form of exercise?

Do you have a favorite healthy meal?
Stuffed red bell peppers.

Tom D’Angelo

Chairman of the Board, Pharmacists Society of the State of New York

Tom D’Angelo is the current chairman of the board for the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, an organization representing over 28,000 pharmacists and thousands of independent pharmacies. In addition to advancing PSSNY’s mission of promoting public health by offering resources and support to pharmacists, Mr. D’Angelo works with state policy makers to strengthen protections for independent pharmacies, such as the one he co-owns on Long Island.

Alexandro Damiron

Executive Vice President of Operations and Chief of Staff, SOMOS Community Care

Alexandro Damiron is the executive vice president of operations and chief of staff at SOMOS Community Care, a non-profit, physician-led network of 2,500 health care providers, launched in 2015 and serving close to one million Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries in New York City. A native of the Dominican Republic, Mr. Damiron specializes in implementing and managing new initiatives that support the education and progress of minority community physicians, and he has been pivotal in SOMOS’s extraordinary work to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in NYC and nationwide.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Everyday that I work with the most motivated and hard-working staff ever, brings so much satisfaction.

What is your favorite form of exercise?
Basketball as a proud Dominican.

Do you have a favorite healthy meal?
I take care of myself. Grilled fish and veggies are a favorite.

Kenneth L. Davis

Chief Executive Officer, Mount Sinai Health System

Kenneth L. Davis, M.D., chief executive officer of the Mount Sinai Health System, is widely recognized as a visionary leader who has placed Mount Sinai at the forefront of building a population-health and value-based model of care focused on wellness, health equity, and prevention. In 2013, the Mount Sinai Health System was formed by the combination of The Mount Sinai Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners, becoming one of the largest nonprofit systems in the country with eight billion dollars in revenue, 42,000 employees, eight hospitals, and more than 410 ambulatory practices.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Leading this great institution and community of health professionals and scientists.

Emma DeVito

President and Chief Executive Officer, VillageCare

With a concentration in finance, management, and strategic planning, Emma DeVito’s career spans more than 25 years. She led VillageCare’s reconfiguration and reform of its long-term and chronic care services, shifting the emphasis from institutionalized care to community-based services. As a member of the Governor-appointed Medicaid Redesign Team II, Emma worked alongside government officials, as well as a select number of other health care industry stakeholders, to identify changes necessary to New York State’s Medicaid program to help ensure recurring savings while protecting beneficiaries.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Working with an amazing team that is committed to improving the lives of seniors in NYC.

What is your favorite form of exercise?

Do you have a favorite healthy meal?
Ginger rice bowl with fried egg, avocado, and veggies.