NEBGH Members only, Webinar

Championing HealthyNYC!

Not a member and interested in attending? Contact Elizabeth Merrill.

Join Dr. Ashwin Vasan, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in conversation with Kim Thiboldeaux, NEBGH CEO, as they discuss HealthyNYC, the city’s campaign for healthier, longer lives. Learn about NEBGH’s involvement as an official Champion of this important initiative and how you can get involved as we work together to increase life expectancy of New Yorkers to 83 by 2030.

What you’ll learn:

  • Background of HealthyNYC
  • Drivers and Goals
  • Health in the Bigger Picture and the overlapping of community, social and structural factors
  • How NEBGH members can join HealthyNYC

Featured Speaker

Ashwin Vasan, MD, PhD

Commissioner of Health
City of New York

Dr. Ashwin Vasan is the 44th Health Commissioner of New York City. He is a practicing primary care physician, epidemiologist, and health policy expert with nearly 20 years of experience working to improve physical and mental health and social outcomes in New York City, nationally, and globally.

In his role as Commissioner since early 2022, Dr. Vasan has led the nation’s oldest and strongest public health agency through an unprecedented time of challenge and transition, reshaping the city’s health system to address the main drivers of declining life expectancy in the post-COVID emergency era - including overdoses, chronic and diet-related diseases, birth inequities, climate change, and gun violence -- and culminating in the launch of HealthyNYC, the city’s plan for healthier, longer lives. He has built a coalition of public, private, nonprofit, philanthropic, and government agencies behind this common vision, and worked closely with the New York City City Council to pass Local Law 93, codifying HealthyNYC into city planning, to be revised and reported on every five years in perpetuity, regardless of the administration.

Throughout this work, he has brought a unique, unparalleled focus to mental health, releasing a citywide population mental health plan addressing the crisis plaguing youth; New Yorkers with severe mental illness; and people at risk of drug overdose. In support of the plan his team launched NYC TeenSpace, a digital front-door to mental health care available to more than 400,000 New Yorkers aged 13-17; declared social media a public health crisis and led the city’s litigation against TikTok, YouTube, SnapChat, and Meta; doubled funding to more than $30 million to scale capacity and enrollment in the city’s psychosocial clubhouse system to 15,000 people with SMI; led the NYC strategy on opioid settlement funds, including expanding naloxone access, launching public health vending machines, scaling treatment resources, and continuing to support overdose prevention centers as life-saving solutions; and has invested in workforce wellbeing, improving staff morale and job satisfaction, and reducing turnover, by addressing pay equity, mental health care access and benefits, and launching new, innovative wellness programming including Lets Talk! NYC Health, a program to train managers and leaders to support staff with mental health needs and support conversations about mental health in the workplace.

Dr. Vasan has simultaneously strengthened the Health Department’s emergency response-readiness capacities, improving its financial and program planning, investing significantly in communications, and modernizing its data systems with the launch of the Center for Population Health Data Science, a state-of-the-art data hub that leverages advanced technology, informatics, data engineering, and AI, creating a real-time citywide disease surveillance system capable of responding to the next pandemic and addressing routine acute and chronic health priorities in the city.


Kim Thiboldeaux - CEO


Kim Thiboldeaux is a seasoned, passionate health care leader with experience in both the private and non-profit sectors, spanning multiple disease areas and health care topics including HIV and AIDS, organ transplant, oncology, caregiving, patient navigation, and health equity.

Kim served as CEO of the Cancer Support Community (CSC) for 20 years, from 2000-2020, leading a global nonprofit network that operates at 175 locations, including CSC and Gilda’s Club centers, and in multiple hospitals and cancer clinics. Combined with a toll-free Helpline, a Research Institute, and a DC-based Policy Institute, Kim grew this network of professionally-led services five-fold during her tenure. In her last year as CEO, the organization provided more than $50 million in free support and navigation services to patients and families.

Kim’s service includes appointments to the nation’s premier health care panels and boards. In 2019, Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, appointed Kim to the Novel and Exceptional Technology and Research Advisory Committee. This panel is focused on providing advice and serving as a transparent forum for discussion of the scientific, safety, and ethical issues associated with emerging biotechnologies. In 2017, Kim was appointed to serve on the Biden Cancer Initiative’s Board of Directors.

In serving as a patient advocate on these high-profile boards and panels, Kim has brought attention to inequities in our health care system. In 2019, she joined Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Dr. Jill Biden, and leaders of the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation in Arizona to mark the opening of the first-ever full-time cancer and support center on an American Indian Reservation. Kim helped convene key Navajo Nation leaders, private sector supporters, and other officials to establish this culturally-adapted program located in an area larger than the state of West Virginia. That work led to the opportunity to develop a full-length, feature documentary, Navajo Nation USA, about the cancer center and the triumphs and challenges of the Navajo people. Kim is Executive Producer and Writer on the film (

In 2020, Stand Up To Cancer appointed Kim to its Equity Breakthrough Research Review Team, focusing on cancers affecting underrepresented populations. In 2019, the International Psychosocial Oncology Society presented Kim with the President’s Community Award for Distinguished Contributions at its Global Congress in Canada.

Kim has led numerous other initiatives to help patients and families in need. Most notably, she launched an emergency fund in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that provided financial relief grants to thousands of patients affected by the economic downturn and expanded the organization’s professionally-staffed Helpline as the call volume nearly doubled. In addition, as part of a two-year collaboration she led with Airbnb, more than 3,000 patients in need were provided free housing while traveling for treatment.