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County Health Commissioner Dr. Kari Reiber to Retire

Published: 12/15/2015

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has announced the upcoming retirement of Dutchess County Department of Health Commissioner Kari Reiber, MD.  Dr. Reiber has served Dutchess County for over 12 years, including the past two years as Health Commissioner.

Dr. Kari ReiberCounty Executive Molinaro said, “For more than a dozen years, Dr. Reiber has made a vital difference in Dutchess County residents’ lives, and she will be missed by all who have worked with her throughout her career. Dr. Reiber has continued Dutchess’ mission to become the healthiest state in New York. I extend my heartfelt gratitude for her many years of dedicated service to Dutchess County, and I wish her the best in all of her future endeavors.”

Dr. Reiber joined Dutchess County Government as Medical Examiner in September 2003 after serving as the Deputy  Medical Examiner assigned to Queens County in New York City. Dr. Reiber designed and modernized the County’s Medical Examiner Program, utilizing the most up-to-date medical and forensic science techniques. Under Dr. Reiber’s leadership, the Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s Program has been widely recognized throughout the state and  region.  Dr. Reiber has been at the forefront of regional emergency planning initiatives, bringing Dutchess County into the NY, NJ, CT, & PA Regional Catastrophic Planning Team.   In 2012, Dr. Reiber was one of the key coordinators of the Mass Fatality Management Response System Training held at the Dutchess County Department of   Emergency Response campus.   At the time, the event was the largest of its kind to take place in the nation.   

In 2013, County Executive Molinaro appointed Dr. Reiber as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Health. As Commissioner, Dr. Reiber has been responsible for oversight of the Department of Health and its mission of assessing, protecting and promoting the health of our communities. She has upheld the department’s vision to be a trusted leader, advocate and partner with the community to prevent risks and promote public health. Dr. Reiber has vowed to make Dutchess the healthiest county in New York State by pursuing innovation, adhering to ethical principles, providing expertise in all areas of public health practice, and offering efficient and dedicated service.

The accomplishments the Department of Health has achieved under Dr. Reiber’s leadership include:

  • Oversaw the design and construction of Dutchess County’s state-of-the-art Medical Examiner’s facility in the city of Poughkeepsie with offices and morgue space under one roof; enabling the  transition from a temporary morgue at Vassar Hospital
  • Establishment of the Dutchess County Opioid Overdose Prevention Program, personally training more than 500 law enforcement personnel and 200 community members in the use of the opioid antidote Narcan;
  • Introduction and implementation of Dutchess County Community Health Improvement Plan with goal to make Dutchess the healthiest county in the state; and
  • Oversaw the opening of the DCDOH’s new public health clinic facilities at the Family Partnership Center in the City of Poughkeepsie, including the recent opening of the Dutchess County Breastfeeding Support & Education Center to provide education and instruction for mothers and mothers-to-be.

Dutchess County Legislator Marge Horton, Chair of the Legislature’s Family and Human Services Committee, said, “We thank Dr. Reiber for her years of service to Dutchess County, embracing our aim to keep residents and our community as healthy as possible. Dr. Reiber’s contributions have added to Dutchess County’s overall health status, and we wish her well in retirement.”

Dr. Reiber officially retires on December 29, 2015.  Her retirement plans include devoting time  to family, animals, travel, and books, preferably non-fiction.     Dr. Reiber will be recognized for her service this evening at the Dutchess County Legislature’s board meeting at 6pm.

Dr. Reiber said, “I am honored to have served Dutchess County for the past 12 years. I am deeply grateful to County Executive Molinaro and his dynamic staff, to members of the Dutchess County Legislature, to my fellow department heads, and to all my wonderful colleagues for their trust and continued support. As I move on to new adventures, Dutchess County will remain very much in my thoughts and heart.”

As previously announced, County Executive Molinaro has appointed Henry M. Kurban, MD, MBA, MPH, FACPM  as the first Commissioner of Dutchess County’s Department of Behavioral and Community Health, a merger of the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide a more holistic, comprehensive approach to health and mental health services.   Dr. Kurban will lead the new department when the merger is official on January 1st, 2016.


On Friday, December 18th, the Dutchess County Department of Health’s office will be closed for an all-staff meeting from 9am to 10am.     Department of Health offices will open to the public at 10:30 a.m.