Press Release: President Biden Names People’s Community Clinic’s Pritesh Gandhi, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Homeland Security

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Joy Authur, (512) 684-1722                                                                                                                                

President Biden Names People’s Community Clinic’s Pritesh Gandhi, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Homeland Security

(AUSTIN, Texas – Jan. 28, 2021) — Dr. Pritesh Gandhi, associate medical director for the People’s Community Clinic of Austin (People’s), has been appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as the chief medical officer of the Department of Homeland Security, effective immediately. 

In this role, he will serve as the principal adviser to the DHS secretary, assistant secretary for the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office, the FEMA administrator, and DHS senior leadership on medical and public health issues related to natural disasters, border health, pandemic response, acts of terrorism and other man-made disasters.

Gandhi is a public health trained and board-certified internal medicine specialist. In addition to his most recent role at People’s as the associate chief medical officer, he has also served as the director of adult medicine for the Austin-based Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), which provides care to nearly 20,000 uninsured and medically underserved Central Texans, 70% of whom live under the federal poverty line. He co-led the clinic’s COVID-19 response team with the clinic’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Louis Appel, and under their leadership People’s was recognized by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services as a Gold Tier Health Center Quality Leader — ranking it among the top 10% of public health providers in the nation. Gandhi recently served as an associate faculty member at The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School.

“We regret losing someone of Dr. Gandhi’s tremendous capabilities, talent and compassion. He has been an outstanding leader for our clinic and our community during one of the most difficult times in our country’s history. We are proud of the relationship Dr. Gandhi has had with us, and wish him the best in this new and very critical role for our country,” said Regina Rogoff, People’s chief executive officer.

Over the course of his career, Gandhi has worked with working-class and marginalized communities to address social determinants of health and poverty. He is a Fulbright Scholar, Schweitzer Fellow, National Health Service Corps Scholar, and was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar in 2018. Gandhi completed a dual internal medicine and pediatrics residency at Tulane University in New Orleans and holds a degree in international relations and economics from Tufts University, where he also completed his M.D. and MPH.                                                                   

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Since 1970, People’s Community Clinic has provided comprehensive health and wellness care to uninsured and underinsured individuals. The clinic’s mission is to improve the health of medically underserved and uninsured Central Texans by delivering high-quality, affordable health care with dignity and respect.