On April 6, 2017 fellow Alumni joined together for the first ever Link Locally, Affect Globally Alumni Networking Event. Alumni spent the evening networking with leaders, engaging with fellow alumni, and speaking one-on-one with the Dean of Health Sciences and Practice, Robert W. Amler, M.D., M.B.A., and Special Guest Speaker Eli N. Avila, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., FCLM, Commissioner of Health for Orange County, New York.
View photos from the event here.
Thursday, April 6, 2017 – 6 p.m.
New York Medical College – Medical Education Center
40 Sunshine Cottage Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
Special Guest Speaker:
Eli N. Avila, MD, JD, MPH, FCLM – Commissioner of Health for Orange County
The Honorable Eli Narciso Avila presently serves as the 9th Commissioner of Health for Orange County, NY. In this current public health executive role, he presides over the health and welfare of Orange County’s approximately 400,000 diverse citizens and manages a $67-million-dollar budget. Since his arrival in Orange County, the New York State Bar has appointed him to the Committee for Mass Disaster Response and he is an active member of the Public Health Law Section, where he has collaborated on three webinars to assist the New York State Legislature as it adapts legislation to conform to the merger of primary care and traditional public health under the Affordable Care Act. He volunteers as the Medical Director for the Orange County EMS. Also, he is on the Board of Governors for the New York State Association of County Health Officials and chairs the Legal Committee, where he reviews almost all proposed health bills before they are presented on either the New York Senate or Assembly floors. He has advocated and assisted in the creation of the current New York State Hepatitis C law and is actively working on both the Senate and Assembly bills regarding Tactical Emergency Medical Support. Given that he co-authored the Pennsylvania law on scheduling drug homologues at the request of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association, he has been asked to assist in writing a similar law by the New York State District Attorney Association. Presently, he is addressing health outcomes by confronting chronic health issues such as diabetes and hypertension, by tackling childhood obesity, by increasing childhood immunization rates, by removing health disparities, by increasing efficient linkages to care, and by increasing screening for Hepatitis C among baby-boomers.
Prior to this position, he served as the 26th Secretary of Health of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania managing a $1-billion-dollar budget and a staff of 1,700. He received unanimous bipartisan Senate confirmation. Dr. Avila was the first Latino in the state’s history to hold this cabinet position. As Secretary, Dr. Avila was the top health regulator in Pennsylvania, the senior health policy advisor to the executive branch and served as a liaison to the Governor and the US Dept. of Health and Human Services for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. During his tenure he was instrumental in the authoring and passage of eighteen health related laws, was the first state health official in the country to provide testimony and a detailed national health education and epidemiological surveillance plan for communities near Marcellus Shale Hydraulic Fracturing activities, removed regulatory obstacles to mobile lab testing and rapid HIV/Hepatitis C screening, provided updated/uniform Hospital Accreditation and EMS Regulations, and addressed disparity issues by holding Pennsylvania’s first statewide Health Equity Conference and by facilitating telemedicine into isolated rural areas.
Prior to this role, Dr. Avila served as the Chief Deputy Commissioner of Health Services and Director of Public Health for Suffolk County, NY, the seventh largest county in the U.S., where he managed a $400-million-dollar budget and a staff of 1,400. As a physician-attorney, Dr. Avila has held a variety of roles of diverse scope and responsibility including: Senior Examining Occupational Medicine Physician for federal agents in Albany NY, Associate General Counsel for an environmental biotechnology company, Law Associate for an intellectual property law firm, Clinical Instructor in Ophthalmology and Surgical Attending at Columbia University, and Medical Director of an ophthalmology practice where he performed emergency eye trauma surgery and corneal transplant surgery.
In 2012, Dr. Avila graduated from the prestigious National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, a joint program between the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard School of Public Health. In 2011, he completed the highly exclusive Executive Education program for State Health Officials at the Harvard School for Public Health. His academic pedigree includes graduating from Phillips Academy as a full scholarship student under the “A Better Chance” program, an ScB in Biology from Brown University, an MD from the Brown Medical School, a JD with cum laude honors from the St. John’s University School of Law, and an MPH with highest honors from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
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