2nd top Rhode Island health official announces resignation

Tom McCarthy, Executive Director for COVID response RI Department of Health. File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Just days after the director of Rhode Island’s Department of Health announced her resignation, the agency’s deputy director announced that he, too, is leaving.

Tom McCarthy in a resignation letter dated Tuesday wrote that working at the department has been a “career highlight.”

“I joined state government at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic because I was looking for an opportunity to serve my home state during the most significant public health crisis it had ever faced,” he wrote. “I am in awe of the dedication and selflessness of the public servants I had the opportunity to serve alongside.”

McCarthy, whose resignation is effective Feb. 1, will start a new job in March at United Us, a technology company that builds coordinated care networks, according to The Boston Globe, which first reported his resignation.

His departure comes days after department Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott announced that she was stepping down after seven years. She has not announced her plans. Because he is not a physician, McCarthy is not eligible for the top job.

McCarthy was appointed executive director of the state’s COVID-19 response team by former Gov. Gina Raimondo last February to coordinate vaccination efforts, and was named deputy director last month.