ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, Albany County Health Commissioner, was a constant source of information and guidance during a global pandemic. As she moves on to her next chapter, Albany County leaders are recognizing her and her service to the area.

“As we move on to our next step in county government it’s good to know that we had a director that has done extraordinary things,” County Executive Dan McCoy said.

Her send-off mirrored the same set up we saw for hundreds of COVID-19 press conferences in 2020 and 2021, events leaders said were essential to public health.

“You were a calm voice of reason with scientific reason,” Assemblywoman Pat Fahy said. “Those daily briefings, I know you were doing those seven days a week but it was what we needed.” 

“To make sure the information they received throughout the pandemic was evidence based,” Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, Albany County Health Commissioner, said. “Based on what made the most sense in a very rapidly evolving landscape so to have the opportunity to sit by your side at those press conferences and talk about things from a medical perspective I think really was great.”

The ceremony noted some of Dr. Whalen’s most significant accomplishments over the last 8.5 years, including leading COVID-19 awareness and vaccination efforts, and current efforts to incorporate fluoride in the City of Albany’s water supply.

“We know that fluoridation of community water doesn’t change the taste of the water,” Dr. Whalen said. “But, what it does do is protect children and adults throughout the course of their lives, improves dental health.” 

Dr. Whalen’s last day is Oct. 26, 2023. Next, she intends to get board certified in lifestyle medicine.