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N.Y.C. Health Commissioner to Stay On Until March, Adams Says

Dr. Chokshi said that the city would continue to prioritize in-person learning in January.

“The mayor-elect, of course, may decide to look at our protocols and think about our approaches in the context of Omicron and make some adjustments,” he said. “But the fundamental mission of keeping people safe, as well as prioritizing in-person learning, will be consistent.”

Another question is whether the city will amend its vaccine mandates affecting a broad swath of workers — from teachers and police officers, to restaurant workers — to include a booster-shot requirement. The mandate extends to workers at private employers on Monday. Dr. Chokshi said he wanted to examine the idea because boosters provide protection from the virus.

“I do think it’s worth considering,” he said.

Dr. Chokshi, a former senior leader at Health + Hospitals, the city’s public hospital system, has become a bit of a local celebrity, appearing with Mr. de Blasio at his daily news conferences and in television ads encouraging New Yorkers to get vaccinated. His predecessor, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, resigned about five months into the pandemic, and voiced “deep disappointment” with Mr. de Blasio.

Dr. Vasan is a primary care doctor, like Dr. Chokshi, who sees patients once a week, and has worked with patients who had Covid. His nonprofit, which has community-based sites across the city, was shut down for nearly 18 months during the pandemic. He said he met Mr. Adams at the start of his mayoral campaign when Mr. Adams held “mayor school” with experts in different fields.

Fountain House is known worldwide in the mental-health field for having started the “clubhouse” movement to help people living with mental illness by connecting them with education and job opportunities and fostering friendships.

Dr. Vasan, who grew up in Chicago and has lived in New York City for more than a decade, said he was excited to work with Mr. Adams on other parts of his agenda like combating chronic disease and expanding healthy food options in poor communities — priorities that Mr. Adams outlined in his 2020 book “Healthy At Last” about his struggle with diabetes and moving to a plant-based diet.

Dr. Vasan said it was important for poor New Yorkers and communities of color to have access to fresh food, and not just wealthy residents, and Mr. Adams’s story would inspire others.

“He’s a credible messenger in those communities,” he said, “and he’s got firsthand lived experience of how it’s transformed his life, so I’m here for it.”

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