FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2009
STATEMENTS OF MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND HEALTH COMMISSIONER THOMAS A. FARLEY ON THE APPOINTMENT OF HEALTH DEPARTMENT DEPUTY COMMISSIONER JESSICA LEIGHTON PH.D. TO SENIOR ADVISOR AT THE U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
Statement of Mayor Bloomberg:
"The Obama administration has looked from coast to coast for the best people and - once again - found them working in our administration. Jessica Leighton, Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Health, is leaving the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to serve as senior advisor on nutrition and food safety for the United States Food and Drug Administration. We are sad to see her go, but proud to have such a dedicated health official to offer the nation.
"During her time at the Health Department, Jessica has worked closely with six Health commissioners to protect the health of New Yorkers. When a steam pipe exploded in the middle of a major Manhattan intersection in the summer of 2007, I was the one who got the praise for being forthright with information - but it was Jessica's command of environmental health issues that got us through that emergency, and numerous others.
"She joins numerous Bloomberg Administration alumni in Washington, including Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of Local Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security Jarrod Bernstein, and Rima Cohen, senior advisor to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The Food and Drug Administration is the perfect place for Jessica to continue her excellent work to improve public health, and I cannot thank her enough for the contributions she has made to the people of New York City."
Statement of Dr. Farley:
"It has been a privilege to work with Deputy Commissioner Leighton. Overseeing a division of eight bureaus and a staff of 1,000, she has worked tirelessly to protect New Yorkers from environmental risks. That includes long-recognized risks such as lead paint, and modern threats such as trans fats. Under her direction, lead poisoning levels have dropped markedly, and her leadership during public health emergencies, including the September 11th attacks, will serve as a model for years to come."
"We will miss her, but the lasting imprint of her dedication, compassion and hard work will stay here to guide us through this time of transition. I know that she will diligently serve the nation just as she has New York City for the past 20 years. I look forward to working with her in her new role in Washington, and thank her for her outstanding service at the Health Department."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Jessica Scaperotti (Health)