With this 2023 edition of CMDT, we express our immense gratitude and say goodbye to Mitchell H. Katz, MD as he transitions away from his 30+ years as author of Chapter 31 “HIV Infection & AIDS.”
A graduate of Yale College and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Katz completed his residency in the UCSF Primary Care General Internal Medicine Residency, and then trained as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.
Dr. Katz has spent the bulk of his career in public service. He began his work in 1991 in the San Francisco Department of Public Health, ultimately being appointed Director and Health Officer of the Department of Health. He was probably best known for funding San Francisco’s successful needle exchange program; for creating its “Healthy San Francisco” Program as the first comprehensive municipal health care and financing system in the United States; for outlawing the sale of tobacco at pharmacies; and for winning ballot measures funding the replacement of the City’s 780-bed nursing home, the Laguna Honda Hospital & Rehabilitation Center, and for rebuilding its 386-bed public “safety net” hospital, the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.
In 2010, Dr. Katz was appointed the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS), the second largest public safety net system in the U.S. While in L.A., he created an ambulatory care network that empaneled over 350,000 patients in a primary care home and that transitioned over 4000 medically complex patients from care at hospitals and emergency departments into independent housing, effectively eliminating unnecessary and expensive hospital care and giving these patients the dignity of their own home.
Moving to New York City in 2018, Dr. Katz became President and CEO of NYC Health and Hospitals, the largest municipal health system in the U.S. He is the architect of NYC Care, a health access program that provides comprehensive health care to New Yorkers regardless of income or immigration status. In the spring of 2019, Dr. Katz steered the municipal health system through the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak when NYC was the epicenter of the U.S. pandemic. In a 6-week period, he tripled the number of ICU beds to care for acutely ill patients.
Dr. Katz is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and is the Deputy Editor of JAMA Internal Medicine. He has published extensively in the areas of HIV epidemiology and health care access. He practices as a primary care physician at Gouverneur Health in Manhattan. Mitch and his partner, Rabbi Igael Gurin-Malous, have two children, Maxwell and Roxie, who were adopted from an orphanage in Vietnam.
As Mitch’s editors, we are particularly thankful for his expert annual submissions, providing us a precis about the care of patients with HIV infection/AIDS. We are immensely grateful for his friendship and look forward to hearing about the next chapters in his amazing career of service.