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Dr. Michael Fine to serve as interim Director of Department of Health

February 24, 2011

Here’s the latest from Governor Chafee’s office on Gifford’s interim replacement-

Dr. Michael Fine has agreed to serve as interim Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH). Dr. Fine, who has been Director of Medical Services for the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (DOC) since 2010, will begin at DOH tomorrow and will serve until a successor is named to permanently replace outgoing Director Dr. David R. Gifford, whose resignation takes effect tomorrow, Friday, February 25.

Dr. Fine has devoted his entire professional life to healthcare. He has thirty years of experience in primary care practice, community organizing, health policy, population-based primary care, and health care systems design. He has maintained a special focus on disenfranchised communities.

In his role at DOC, Dr. Fine has overseen a department that cares for 10,000 to 20,000 people a year and 3,700 people at any given time, with a staff of over 100 physicians, psychiatrists, mental health workers, nurses, and other health workers. The Medical Services department has a budget of $23 million, and is a critical sentinel public health facility for Rhode Island.

Dr. Fine is a graduate of Haverford College and the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He completed his residency with the Brown University Program in Family Medicine at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island in Pawtucket.

Dr. Fine is no stranger to attention here in Rhode Island. He’s the force behind Health AccessRI– an attempt to offer low cost primary care to people without insurance.  He’s also the author of the Zero Calorie Diet among other books.

His personal website calls Fine “Rhode Island’s best known family physician.”  He’ll be even better known now that he’s the state’s top doc.

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