Former Rhode Island Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, Joins ASTHO as Senior Executive Consultant

July 27, 2022

Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH

Senior Executive Consultant, ASTHO

ARLINGTON, VA—The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) announced today that former Rhode Island Department of Health Director and former ASTHO President Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, has joined ASTHO as a senior executive consultant. Alexander-Scott will support states and territories across the country in capacity building focused on health equity, strengthening communities to be healthy and resilient, leadership development, and Truth in Racial Healing & Transformation work. Through this focus, she will lead the creation of a national office that will serve as a resource hub for state, territorial, county, and local governments and public health agencies to effectively invest in communities using evidence-informed, place-based, community-led interventions.

Alexander-Scott has vast expertise building healthy and resilient communities, something she was able to do while serving as the state health official in Rhode Island. As ASTHO president, Alexander-Scott led a presidential initiative encouraging state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments to build healthier, more resilient communities through community-led, place-based approaches. This initiative mobilized strategic investments to address socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health to transform systems and policies in ways to empower local communities.

“I’m thrilled that Dr. Alexander-Scott is joining the ASTHO racial and health equity team and has chosen to make ASTHO her next professional home,” says Kimberlee Wyche Etheridge, MD, MPH, ASTHO’s senior vice president of health equity and diversity initiatives. “Dr. Alexander-Scott has been an integral member of ASTHO since 2015, helping our organization grow its health equity work. She will be tasked with leading the implementation of ASTHO’s strategic initiatives focused on health and racial equity. She is the perfect person for the job.”

Alexander-Scott has also worked as a specialist in infectious diseases for children and adults. She is board certified in pediatrics, internal medicine, pediatric infectious diseases, and adult infectious diseases, and served as faculty at Brown University in pediatrics, medicine, and public health (with a focus on health services, policy, and practice).

“Returning to ASTHO to do such important work focused on health equity is the perfect next step for my career,” says Alexander-Scott. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clearer than ever that our health as individuals, families, and communities is most impacted by the socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health. These factors include the availability of housing and good employment opportunities, access to social support networks, and racism and discrimination, along with access to fresh fruits and vegetables, exposure to environmental hazards, and access to transportation. Looking forward, it is critical that communities and public health leaders learn lessons about why certain communities were disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and implement policies that get at the community level determinants of health. This will help us ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to be healthy and thrive, regardless of their ZIP code, race, ethnicity, gender identity, level of education, or level of income.”

Alexander-Scott attended Cornell University as an undergraduate and subsequently graduated from SUNY Upstate Medical University at Syracuse in 2011. After completing a combined internal medicine-pediatrics residency at SUNY Stony Brook University Hospital in 2005, Alexander-Scott finished a four-year combined fellowship in adult and pediatric infectious diseases at Brown University in 2009. She holds a master’s degree in public health (2011) and most recently received an honorary doctorate degree, both from Brown University.

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ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and Freely Associated States, and Washington, D.C., as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.