To prevent disease and protect and promote the health and safety of the people of Rhode Island.

Leading Priorities

  • Address the socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health.
  • Eliminate health disparities and promote health equity.
  • Ensure access to quality health services for all Rhode Islanders, including the state's vulnerable populations.

Public Health Accreditation

The Rhode Island Department of Health gained accreditation in November 2015. Being accredited means we are committed to transparency, accountability, and a culture of continuous quality improvement so that we can better serve our customers and help ensure that everyone has an equal chance to live in a healthy community. more

Utpala Bandy, MD, MPH

Dir. James McDonald

Utpala Bandy, MD, MPH is the Interim Director at the Rhode Island Department of Health. She manages the day-to-day responsibilities of the Director while the search for a permanent candidate is ongoing.

Dr. Bandy also currently serves as the Director of RIDOH’s Division of Preparedness, Response, Infectious Disease, and Emergency Medical Services. She has led RIDOH’s infectious disease division since 2012. In that time, she has helped steer the State’s response to the COVID-19 and H1N1 global pandemics, and she has led efforts to prevent or control outbreaks of diseases of significant concern, including tuberculosis, measles, rabies, and meningococcal disease. She has helped guide efforts to dramatically reduce rates of new HIV infections over the last 30 years in Rhode Island, and manages the federal grants received by RIDOH to do routine infectious disease surveillance and response work.

Dr. Bandy completed a pediatric residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard University School of Public Health. She joined RIDOH in 1993 as Rhode Island’s State Epidemiologist and the Medical Director for the division that oversaw RIDOH’s infectious disease prevention and control work. She became the Director of RIDOH’s Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology in 2012.