Dr. Poonam Alaigh today announced that due to an urgent illness in the family, she will be resigning from the position of Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, effective April 1, 2011. Deputy Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, Mary O’Dowd, will assume the duties of Acting Commissioner, and will be nominated by Governor Christie to be Commissioner of Health.
“My time serving as Commissioner of the Department of Health and Senior Services has been an incredible privilege and honor,” she said in a statement. “I am passionate about the work and accomplishments we have been able to deliver for the families of New Jersey during this time of unprecedented budget challenges.
“So, it is with both pride and difficulty that I today announce my resignation from the Department,” said Alaigh.
“I thank Governor Christie for his faith and confidence in nominating me to lead the Department through this historic time for our State, and for his leadership in our efforts to improve healthcare in the state. I also recognize and thank my colleagues in the Department and the Administration for their support and commitment to doing what is right for all New Jerseyans.
“It has been a great privilege to serve Governor Christie and through him the people of New Jersey. Health remains a pressing issue of importance for the Administration. I am confident that under Governor Christie’s leadership of the state, and Mary O’Dowd’s continued leadership at the Department, there will be great strides made in improving quality healthcare for every New Jersey family,” said Alaigh.
In accepting her resignation, Christie thanked Alaigh for her service at the Department and her dedication to the people of New Jersey.
“I want to thank Dr. Poonam Alaigh for her dedicated service and extraordinary accomplishments as Commissioner of Health,” said Christie in a statement.
“Dr. Alaigh leaves this Administration with a strong record of service to the people of our state, including an increase in funding for hospitals two years in a row, the introduction of continuous and coordinated health care coverage for our seniors, innovations in health care delivery and her principled implementation of a scientifically-based medicinal marijuana program.
“Her commitment and passion for the job has been unprecedented and her stewardship of the Department has been world class through a period of economic difficulty and an increased need among our citizens for quality healthcare services. The people of New Jersey are better served today as a result of Dr. Alaigh’s service.”