Youngkin administration looking for new health commissioner

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A top Virginia Department of Health official has been tapped to lead agency operations for now, after Senate Democrats effectively ousted the former health commissioner, Dr. Colin Greene.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration has asked VDH chief operating officer Christopher Lindsay to handle the day-to-day operations at the agency, a Youngkin spokeswoman said in a statement Monday.

“In his brief time with the Department, COO Lindsay has demonstrated his ability to manage a complex organization like VDH and has developed relationships in both the central and district offices,” spokeswoman Macaulay Porter said.

Meanwhile, the governor’s office is working on compiling a list of potential replacements for Greene, Porter said.

State law says the commissioner must be a physician.

Lindsay has a background in health care administration and joined the department in November, according to his official biography. News of his role was first reported by The Washington Post.

Senate Democrats voted last week to remove Greene, who was reprimanded by the Board of Health last year for remarks he made in an interview with the Post, in which he called gun violence “a Democratic talking point” and questioned the role of structural racism in health outcomes.

Youngkin expressed disappointment in those remarks but also criticized Democrats for removing Greene.

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