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Reactions from Elected Officials and Advocates: Mayor de Blasio Appoints Herminia Palacio as Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services

January 5, 2016

"I'm eager to see what Ms. Palacio has in store for New York City after working for so long to bring people out of the shadows across the country in times of need," said Council Member Ydanis Rodríguez. "The administration has clearly done their homework, given Ms. Palacio's reputation for deft management and her ability to get results. From tackling homelessness in a humane way, to serving New Yorkers struggling with mental health issues, I have confidence that she will hit the ground running here in her home town. I look forward to working with Ms. Palacio and her team to ensure New Yorkers get the care they deserve."

“I salute Mayor de Blasio on his appointment of Herminia Palacio to the all-important position of Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. She brings extraordinary expertise and an unrivaled record of stellar accomplishments, notably in Houston after Hurricane Katrina and also in San Francisco. I am thrilled, frankly, that Herminia is a native Bronxite, and I am certain she will be a great asset to the administration and to our city,” said Assembly Member Luis Sepúlveda.

“We applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for his appointment of Dr. Herminia Palacio, M.D., M.P.H as Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services,” said Jose Calderon, President of the Hispanic Federation. “Dr. Palacio has a wealth of experience and expertise that we’re confident will serve her well in advancing the health and well-being of our city’s diverse communities, including its 2.3 million Latino residents. We look forward to working with her to help advance and implement needed initiatives and investments aimed at protecting and uplifting our city’s children and families.”

Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies said, "We are excited that Mayor de Blasio has identified Herminia Palacio as a strong leader to serve as Deputy Mayor and work with the human services community to achieve equity and justice for all New Yorkers, especially those who face economic and health challenges every day. We look forward to working with Deputy Mayor Palacio."

Susan Stamler, Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses, said, “I am thrilled that Mayor de Blasio has appointed Dr. Herminia Palacio as the new Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. With her strong background we know that she will work diligently with settlement houses and other community-based organizations to address our city’s pressing child care, mental health and homelessness issues. We look forward to working with her and the administration to strengthen services for all New Yorkers.

Pam Brier, CEO of Maimonides Hospital, said, “Mayor de Blasio has brilliantly tapped a woman with impeccable credentials and great national experience to serve as our Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. Dr. Herminia Palacio certainly has all the right professional tickets – and, not only does she bring these to the job, she'll bring her heart and devotion to New York City as well.”

"As a doctors union representing frontline attending physicians and dentists, we welcome the appointment of Dr. Herminia Palacio as Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. Doctors Council SEIU looks forward to working together with Dr. Palacio in helping to improve quality care for all throughout New York City, as well as addressing the changes and challenges ahead in the City public hospital system – New York City Health + Hospitals – and at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as well as Rikers Island," said Frank Proscia, M.D., President of Doctors Council SEIU.

“The Latino Commission on AIDS looks forward to working with and supporting the leadership of Dr. Palacio in addressing the health needs of all New Yorkers,” said Guillermo Chacón, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS and Founder of the Hispanic Health Network.

"As an agency providing social services and assistance with health care coverage for thousands of families, we see every day how the improvements instituted under the de Blasio administration are touching upon so many lives, assuring that they receive the crucial services to feed their families and they receive critical health services," said Rabbi David Niederman, President of the UJO of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn. "We congratulate Herminia Palacio for being appointed as Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. Her record in health and social services makes her the best fit to building on these improvements, to enrich and improve the lives of all New Yorkers."

Alan Schoor, CEO of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, said, “We are thrilled with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s appointment of Herminia Palacio as Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. Her experience, dedication, and leadership will be crucial to help Met Council and other social service agencies provide life changing and often lifes aving services to the vulnerable in our city. Each year, Met Council social workers aid, sustain, and empower tens of thousands of poor and near-poor New Yorkers to overcome poverty’s challenges on their pathway to self-sufficiency, which is only possible with the support of the City.”

“We commend Mayor de Blasio for bringing such an accomplished person as Herminia Palacio as Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. As an organization providing social services daily to thousands of New Yorkers, we are well aware of the Mayor’s commitment to effective and compassionate provision of Social Services and this appointment surely serves to strengthen that commitment,” said Rabbi Yeruchim Silber, Boro Park Jewish Community Council.

Peter B. Gudaitis, M.Div., Chief Response Officer at New York Disaster Interfaith Services, said, “NYDIS welcomes the appointment of Herminia Palacio, MD, MPH, as NYC’s Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. We also commend Mayor Bill de Blasio for naming a nationally recognized public health leader with field experience in crisis response and operational knowledge in disaster human services and public health emergencies. NYDIS and our members look forward to working with Dr. Palacio in building a more disaster-resilient New York City.”

“Health care is one of the largest and most important industries in Brooklyn, and social services are crucial to the wellbeing of all New Yorkers – so Mayor Bill de Blasio has made an excellent choice in appointing Herminia Palacio as Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. From her incredible work during Hurricane Katrina to her efforts in battling the HIV/AIDS crisis in San Francisco, there’s no question that New Yorkers are lucky to have her on their side,” said Carlo Scissura President of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

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