Dr. Torian Easterling Appointed First Deputy Commissioner, Chief Equity Officer

In his new role, Dr. Easterling will serve as the second-in-command at the agency and typically serve as Acting Commissioner in the event of Commissioner absence

September 24, 2020 — The Health Department today announced Dr. Torian Easterling as the new First Deputy Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer. In his new role, Dr. Easterling will be the agency’s top deputy and play a chief coordinating role for non-COVID health matters for agency. He will also unify and direct the Health Department’s internal and external equity agenda as its inaugural Chief Equity Officer.

“Dr. Easterling has dedicated his career to health equity and social justice, principles that guide the Health Department,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “I look forward to working with Dr. Easterling as we build a more equitable City and a healthier New York.”

“I was called to public health service because of my passion for social justice, health equity and movement building. During my time at the Department of Health, I have worked to advance and operationalize an equity framework to achieve the health outcomes that all people deserve,” said First Deputy Commissioner Dr. Torian Easterling. “As we face this unprecedented crisis of the intersection of the COVID-19 pandemic and longstanding racial inequalities, we must work even more diligently to combat the systemic health inequities such as violence, chronic disease and maternal health outcomes. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with communities and key stakeholders across this great city to reimagine our city and communities to live healthier lives.”

Most recently, Dr. Easterling has served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness (CHECW) at the Health Department. CHECW seeks to use a racial and social justice approach to eliminate health inequities for those who are most marginalized in New York City and to reduce overall premature mortality from the leading causes of preventable death. During his time as Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Easterling led the restructuring of Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness and has led the agency’s equity plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to serving as the Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Easterling served as the Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Health’s Bureau of Brooklyn Neighborhood Health. In this role, he launched the Brownsville Neighborhood Health Action Center and co-led the agency’s NYC Birth Equity Initiative, which works to eliminate racial inequities in severe maternal morbidity and infant health outcomes.

Dr. Easterling holds a Bachelor of Science from Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA), a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from Rutgers- New Jersey Medical School, and a Masters of Public Health (M.P.H) from Icahn School of Medicine at Sinai in New York. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, NY and a General Preventive Medicine residency at Icahn School of Medicine at Sinai in New York.



MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Gallahue (347) 396-4177,