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  • Writer's pictureMichael Astor

New Head named for NY State Developmental Disabilities Office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo named Dr. Theodore Kastner to head New York's states developmental disabilities office on Friday. Kastner, who specializes in developmental pediatrics, will be responsible for coordinating services for over 130,000 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders and other neurological impairments. Kastner replaces acting-commissioner Kerry Delaney.

Kastner's appointment is somewhat unusual because in the past most of the heads of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities were attorneys. Kastner has published a number of scholarly papers on issues ranging from using the narcotic Ketamin as a treatment for autism to providing home health care for people with developmental disabilities. Like many people in this field, he's making a lot of the right noises but it remains to be seen

Theodore Kastner, M.D.

how all this will be implemented at time when the office is restructuring the way it provides services to a managed care model. Stay tuned.

Here is the full statement from the governor's office:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced new appointments to his administration, including his nomination of Theodore Kastner as 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. 

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