Dr. Oxiris Barbot is stepping down from the helm of the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) to return to New York City, her hometown, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced March 12.

Dr. Jacquelyn Duval-Harvey—a six year BCHD veteran and current deputy director—was named by Rawlings-Blake to serve as BCHD interim director when Barbot’s resignation becomes effective April 26.

“I would like to thank Dr. Barbot for her years of dedicated service to Baltimore,” Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. “Her enthusiasm for health and wellness is infectious, and she has left a rich legacy of progressive policies to move our city forward.”

Barbot is to be first deputy commissioner of health for New York City.

“Almost four years ago, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake allowed me the honor and privilege of leading one of the nation’s most distinguished health departments. It has been a thrilling experience, but the time has come for me to transition to my next endeavor and be closer to my family,” Barbot said in a statement.

Barbot held the position as health commissioner since July 7, 2010, overseeing 1,200 employees and managing a $138 million budget. She was responsible for spearheading the mayor’s Healthy Baltimore 2015 plan, a major health policy initiative.

The mayor credited Barbot with being aggressive in “more than just treatment, but also in addressing the underlying issues that led to poor health—particularly in our most vulnerable communities. Together, we made health equity a priority for Baltimore City.”

“It has been a thrilling experience, but the time has come for me to transition to my next endeavor and be closer to my family. I will always treasure my time as commissioner of health and the opportunity I had to shape the direction and focus of public health priorities for the City of Baltimore,” said Barbot.

Prior to joining the BCHD, in 2003 Barbot was medical director at the Office of School Health at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Department of Education.

The BCHD oversees health policy, and several city programs including infectious diseases, school health, maternal-child health, restaurant inspection and chronic disease prevention.


Blair Adams

AFRO Staff Writer