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Molinaro Appoints New Commissioner of Behavioral and Community Health

Published: 10/25/2021

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has appointed Livia Santiago-Rosado, MD, FACEP FAAEM to serve as Commissioner of Behavioral and Community Health. The County Executive has forwarded the appointment resolution to the Dutchess County Legislature for approval at the November 8th board meeting. 

dr santiagoDr. Santiago-Rosado brings more than 20 years of diverse medical experience to the   Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH), with expertise in compassionate patient care coupled with data-driven, administrative leadership skills. She has most recently served as the Chair and Medical Director of Emergency Medicine at   Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie. Prior to her appointment at Vassar   Brothers, she served as Attending Physician and Vice Chair for the Department of   Emergency Medicine at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, NY, and had previously served as Attending Physician in the NYC Health + Hospitals system at   Elmhurst Hospital Center and Queens Hospital Center, where she also served as   Associate Director for over a decade.

During her time at Vassar Brothers, Dr. Santiago-Rosado worked in coordination with DBCH on numerous initiatives. She was a founder of the Community Outreach Committee, serving as liaison with DBCH to create partnerships to improve care paradigms, with consideration of social determinants of health. She also created the Opiate Stewardship Committee, an Emergency Department (ED) based program with the goal of decreasing opioid prescribing across the continuum of care. Within 14 months, the programs achieved a 65 percent reduction in ED-prescribed opiate doses.

Dr. Santiago-Rosado’s experience in large hospital and healthcare systems serving vulnerable populations ideally suit her to lead the DBCH team in its mission to assess and protect the community from health risks, ensure access to high quality services, and promote holistic care that integrates physical and behavioral health outcomes. As Commissioner, she will oversee more than 200 employees and an annual operating budget of approximately $79 million.

County Executive Molinaro said, “We are excited to have Dr. Santiago-Rosado take the helm at Dutchess County Behavioral & Community Health. Serving in emergency departments right here in Dutchess County, she knows first-hand the challenges our most vulnerable populations face dealing with both physical and behavioral health issues. She has already been a passionate partner, working with DBCH to address how social determinants including income stability, education, neighborhoods and more, impact care. She has been hands-on addressing issues relating to opiate and substance use disorders and she has served on the front line throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Her passion for the well-being and health of the community in which she lives and raises her family, is truly inspiring and we are excited to have her lead our team of dedicated and talented public health professionals.”

Dr. Santiago-Rosado earned her M.D. from Columbia University in New York, NY, after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. She completed her post-graduate medical training through St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center as an Intern in the Transitional Program in the Department of Medicine in New York, NY and as an Emergency Medicine Resident at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, NY.

She is a professional member of numerous academies and organizations including the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), where she is a Fellow, and currently serves as member-at-large for the New York ACEP Board of Directors; Academy for Diversity & Inclusion in Emergency Medicine, Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine (AWAEM) and others. She has also been an active educator throughout her career, as Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and more recently as Adjunct Associate Professor at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. She frequently provides presentations and lectures and has published extensive research and articles on topics including the impact of COVID-19, care/case management in a new patient care paradigm, trauma, psychiatric disorders, ED overcrowding and other issues related to emergency care and care transitions.

Dr. Santiago-Rosado has earned multiple honors and accolades in her more than 20-year career in medicine. In recent months, she was awarded TeamHealth Northeast Group’s 2020 Medical Director of the Year Award for outstanding leadership and dedication to the community throughout the COVID pandemic. She was honored as Attending Physician of the Year in 2011 at Queens Hospital Center and received a Citation of Merit from the American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality for recognized throughput and flow in the ED. In 2018, she was honored by the Hispanic Counseling Center in Nassau County, NY for her work to advance and enhance care for Latinx communities. She continues to serve as an educator and mentor to future generations of clinicians both locally and nationally.

“I am truly honored for the opportunity to serve my community as the next Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health, said Dr. Santiago-Rosado. Now more than ever before, we understand the importance of public health and the impact it has on our daily lives. I am excited to bring my passion for data-driven, common-sense administration and my experience in patient care to this new role. I am grateful to County Executive Molinaro for this new opportunity, and I am eager to be working with the outstanding team at DBCH, who have been regional and statewide leaders in so many initiatives and have demonstrated such professionalism and compassion throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we will continue to protect and improve the health and well-being of Dutchess County residents.”

Dr. Santiago-Rosado is a resident of the Town of LaGrange where she lives with her husband, Mark Stillman MD, and their daughter and son.

Following confirmation by the Dutchess County Legislature and approval by the New York State Department of Health, Dr. Santiago-Rosado is expected to begin serving as Commissioner in late December.