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Here’s who will help Governor McKee pick a new health director

Dr. Megan Ranney is one of seven health professionals who will help Governor McKee find an interim and a permanent director of the Rhode Island Health Department.DAVID DEGNER/NYT

Happy Friday! I’m Dan McGowan and I’m still confused about what Meat Loaf won’t do for love. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

Coronavirus updates

Rhode Island has a high level of transmission: 2,461.6 total new cases per 100K population in the past 7 days

Vaccinated with two shots: 824,476 (of about 1.1 million residents)

New cases: 2,918

Test-positive rate: 12.5 percent

Currently hospitalized: 532

Total deaths: 3,224

More stats from the R.I. Department of Health

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Leading off

Who will replace Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott as Rhode Island’s next director of health?


With Alexander-Scott set to depart next week, Governor Dan McKee has named seven health professionals who will advise him on his search for an interim and a permanent director. They might also want to offer advice for a deputy director, because Tom McCarthy announced Thursday that he, too, is leaving the department.

The role is important beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, as the next director is sure to play a key role in overseeing the proposed hospital merger between Lifespan and Care New England.

Here’s a look at the team that will advise McKee. The person chosen as the permanent director will have to be confirmed by the Rhode Island Senate.

Dr. Megan Ranney: One of Rhode Island’s best-known health experts, Ranney is the director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health, a professor at Brown, and an emergency room doctor. She is also the co-founder of GetusPPE.org, a nonprofit that secures personal protective equipment for health workers. She is a regular on cable news. @meganranney

Dr. John A. Stoukides: Stoukides is the vice chairman of the Department of Medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Roger Williams Medical Center. He also oversees the COVID-19 vaccination program for CharterCARE hospitals.


Dr. Bradley J. Collins: Collins is the president of Rhode Island Chapter of the Society of Hospital Medicine. He’s also an internist and hospitalist at the Miriam Hospital and a professor at the Brown medical school. @bradcollins53

Dr. Kristina Duarte: A family physician at Providence Community Health Centers, Duarte previously spent 11 years as the assistant program director at the Brown University Family Medicine Residency. She also has a master’s degree in epidemiology from Brown.

Dr. Abdul Saied Calvino: Calvino completed his general surgery residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago and his surgical oncology fellowship at Roger Williams Medical Center. He also established a community outreach and cancer navigation program to improve access to surgical care in underserved populations. @AbdulsaiedC

Dr. Heather A. Smith: Smith is the director of quality for the emergency department at Women & Infants Hospital. She is the president of the American Medical Association Foundation and vice president of the Rhode Island Medical Society.

The Rev. Chris Abhulime: A deputy chief of staff to Governor McKee, Abhulime is a clinical/biopharmaceutical scientist and the founder of The King’s Tabernacle. @ChrisAbhulime

The Globe in Rhode Island

⚓ Poised between peril and opportunity, confronting a pandemic and a housing crisis while flush with federal cash and a huge state surplus, Governor Dan McKee’s administration on Thursday unveiled not one but three significant budget proposals. Read more.

⚓ Rhode Island has a housing crisis, but zoning laws are hindering construction of affordable units. Read more.


⚓ A former Rhode Island man who faked his own death to avoid criminal charges in Utah is due to appear in court in Scotland on Friday after skipping a court date Thursday. Read more.

⚓ Lifespan recently issued guidance for how to deal with its staffing shortage, underlining the ethical considerations of denying advanced care to patients who need it or withdrawing it to give it to someone else. Read more.

⚓  Union employees from Lifespan and Care New England voiced their concerns Thursday night about the proposed merger between two of the state’s largest systems. Read more.

🎂 Rhode Map readers have sent another round of Happy Birthday wishes to: Cortney Nicolato (44), Suzanne Da Silva (21ish), Jordan Day, Claire Capozzi (84), Sophie Shereen Carey (15), Abigail D. Isom (34), Saul Alden Fern (90), JC Bigelow (59), David Zacharias, state Representative June Speakman, Lorne Adrain, and Paul Moura.

Also in the Globe

⚓ The Senate failed to pass voting rights legislation. Where does that leave Democrats? Read more.

⚓ What happens after Omicron? Some experts predict a lull but say the virus could have more tricks up its sleeve. Read more.

⚓ It’s time for National Plan for Vacation Day (seriously), and Christopher Muther explains how to play the game when COVID-19 is still a problem. Read more.

What’s on tap today

E-mail events to us at RInews@globe.com.

Query: Have you noticed common items in short supply at stores in Rhode Island? Please fill out this Google form explaining what you’ve seen, when (weekday morning, weekend nights, etc.), and where.


⚓ The URI Board of Trustees continues meeting today, and members will consider revoking honorary degrees for Michael Flynn and Rudy Giuliani.

⚓ On Saturday, the Newport City Council will hold a workshop with its state legislative delegation to discuss the city’s priorities at the General Assembly.

My previous column

With Congressman James Langevin set to retire from Congress, don’t be surprised if you start to hear his name being tied to the presidency of Rhode Island College. If you missed the column, you can read it here. And all of my columns are on our Rhode Island Commentary page.

Rhode Island Report podcast

Ed Fitzpatrick talks to Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera about her first year in City Hall. Listen to all of our podcasts here.

Boston Globe App

You can get alerts about Rhode Island news on the Globe’s app (iOS and Android). Just tap the gear icon, then “Edit Alert Settings,” and choose Rhode Island.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to Dan.McGowan@Globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you on Monday.

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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.