Dr. Hillary Kunins is the Executive Deputy Commissioner of Mental Hygiene at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). Appointed in 2019, she oversees DOHMH’s more than 500 staff members and $500,000 in direct and contracted services to promote behavioral health and wellbeing of New Yorkers. Divisional priority areas include supportive housing, children’s mental health, community-based and mobile care for people with serious mental illness, preventing criminal justice involvement among people with mental illness, Medicaid behavioral health transition, and peer workforce expansion. Previously, Dr. Kunins served as Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use within the Division of Mental Hygiene where she led DOHMH’s efforts to promote public health approaches to reducing the health and social consequences of drug and alcohol use in NYC, including preventing opioid overdose and prescription opioid misuse, and binge and excessive alcohol use; expanding access to effective treatment and harm reduction services, including buprenorphine access, overdose education and naloxone distribution, and post overdose care. Dr. Kunins serves as the DOHMH lead for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 60 million dollar citywide opioid initiative, HealingNYC.
Dr. Kunins previously worked in the Bronx providing primary and addiction-related care to patients in both community health centers and in substance use disorder treatment programs. Dr. Kunins served as Medical Director of the Hub 2 Methadone Maintenance Program, in the Division of Substance Abuse at Einstein (2000-2003); Founder and Director of Project GROW – HIV prevention for women with substance use disorders (2003-2012) and Director of the Primary Care/Social Internal Medicine Residency Program at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine (2007-2012). She has been a Principal or Co-Investigator of multiple foundation and federal grants including buprenorphine treatment in primary care (HRSA), naloxone distribution (NIDA), opioid strategies and surveillance (CDC), disparities in substance use service utilization (NIDA), and medical education/training to promote quality care for vulnerable populations (HRSA). Dr. Kunins received her MD and MPH from Columbia University, completed her internal medicine residency at Albert Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center and her MS in Clinical Research from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Kunins is a Clinical Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Family & Social Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Fellow of American College of Physicians, and Fellow of American Society of Addiction Medicine.