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

Director Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH

Dir. Nicole Alexander-Scott

Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH has been the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) since April 2015. Dr. Alexander-Scott brings tremendous experience to this position from her work as a specialist in infectious diseases for children and adults, and from her time in academia as an associate professor of pediatrics, medicine, and public health (with a focus on health services, policy, and practice). Dr. Alexander-Scott is board certified in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and Adult Infectious Diseases. From 2018-2019, Dr. Alexander-Scott was President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the national organization for state health directors, after being elected by her peers. Her ASTHO President's Challenge focuses on "Building Healthy and Resilient Communities."

In her time as Director of Health, Dr. Alexander-Scott has made it RIDOH's principal focus to give every person and every community in Rhode Island an equal opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Under her leadership, RIDOH is committed to addressing community level determinants of health, such as education, housing, transportation, and employment, so that a person's health does not depend on his or her ZIP code. Dr. Alexander-Scott has established as RIDOH's three leading priorities: (1) addressing the socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health; (2) eliminating disparities of health and promoting health equity; and (3) ensuring access to quality health services for all Rhode Islanders, including the state’s vulnerable populations. For her commitment to health equity, Dr. Alexander-Scott has been recognized by numerous local and national organizations, including Grow Smart Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Kresge Foundation.

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Alexander-Scott attended Cornell University, where she majored in Human Development and Family Studies. She subsequently graduated from medical school in 2001 from SUNY Upstate Medical University at Syracuse. After completing a combined internal medicine-pediatrics residency at SUNY Stony Brook University Hospital in 2005, Dr. Alexander-Scott finished a four-year combined fellowship in adult and pediatric infectious diseases at Brown University. She obtained a Master's Degree in Public Health from Brown University in 2011.