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Governor Cuomo Announces New OPWDD Commissioner

Today, Governor Cuomo announced that he has nominated Theodore Kastner, MD for Commissioner of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (a position that requires NYS Senate confirmation). Below is an excerpt from the Governor’s official press announcement with information about Dr. Kastner.

The New York Alliance looks forward to meeting with Dr. Kastner as soon as he begins at OPWDD regarding the challenges facing providers, individuals receiving services, families, and Direct Support Professionals, and what we believe are important steps to address those challenges facing this field.

Theodore Kastner will be nominated Commissioner of the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Kastner previously served as the founder and President of Developmental Disabilities Health Alliance, Inc., an integrated primary care mental health practice for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He was also the Director of the Rose F. Kennedy Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (RFK CERC) at Montefiore Medical Center and is Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine where he also holds the Ruth I. Gottesman Chair in Developmental Pediatrics. Dr. Kastner earned his M.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and earned a Master of Science in population health from the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Kastner is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in Pediatrics, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and by the American Association for Physician Leadership as a Certified Physician Executive. Starting in 1976 as a Direct Support Professional with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, he has worked in the field for more than 40 years.