Dr. Joneigh Khaldun to step down as Michigan's chief medical exec, Gov. Whitmer names replacement

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical executive, is leaving the position for another role outside of the state government.

Khaldun has served as the state's top doctor throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Her new endeavor will be announced in the coming weeks, state officials said.

"Thanks to Dr. J’s around-the-clock leadership, our state acted quickly with the best available data and science to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save countless lives during the pandemic," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. "Dr. J also sounded the alarm on COVID-19 disproportionately impacting people of color, and she co-chaired the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, which has made significant progress towards reducing COVID-19 mortality rate disparities for Michiganders of color."

On Friday, Whitmer thanked Khaldun for her leadership during the pandemic and announced her replacement.

"While we wish we could keep Dr. J at the helm, I wish her the best of luck as she moves on to a well-deserved opportunity. The state of Michigan and I are incredibly grateful for your service," Whitmer said.

Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian will take over the role on Oct. 1. A nationwide search will be conducted to select a permanent chief medical executive.

 "I am proud to appoint Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian as chief medical executive. Michiganders across the state have benefited from Dr. Bagdasarian’s expertise through her work leading the state’s COVID-19 testing strategy to keep everyone safe," Whitmer said. "Dr. Bagdasarian is a world-renowned medical expert with a wealth of experience. She is a proven leader who will continue to guide us through the pandemic. I look forward to collaborating with her as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and keep Michigan healthy."