PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — One week after R.I. Department of Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott announced her impending resignation, her deputy director and the head of the state’s COVID-19 response team has also decided to step down.
Joseph Wendelken, a spokesperson for RIDOH, confirmed Thursday that Tom McCarthy will be leaving at the end of the month.
McCarthy sent his resignation letter to Alexander-Scott earlier this week, in which he described working for RIDOH as “a career highlight.” (Alexander-Scott will officially step down from her role as director sometime next week.)
“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,” McCarthy wrote in his resignation letter. “I am in awe of the dedication and selflessness of the public servants I had the opportunity to serve alongside.”
McCarthy was appointed as the executive director of Rhode Island’s COVID-19 response team by former Gov. Gina Raimondo, shortly before she joined the Biden administration as U.S. commerce secretary.
“The tremendously talented and committed staff at RIDOH have a great foundation to continue the response to COVID-19, and to apply the lessons learned in this area to many other spheres of public health,” he continued. “As I move on to my next chapter in public health outside of state government, please know that I am always here to support the team in any way that I can.”
12 News reached out to McCarthy regarding his decision, but he declined to comment on his departure for the time being.
McCarthy did confirm, however, that he recently accepted a new job with Unite Us, which describes itself as a technology company that builds coordinated care networks of health and social service providers.
His decision to step down was first reported by The Boston Globe.