Sherlita Amler, M.D, M.S., F.A.A.P – Dr. Amler was appointed Commissioner of the Westchester County (NY) Department of Health in 2011. She is a licensed physician, registered nurse, and certified emergency manager with many years of public health experience at the federal, state, and local levels. She is adjunct professor at New York Medical College and senior fellow in the Center for Disaster Medicine, which places a special focus on the protection of children and other vulnerable populations during large-scale community disasters. She helped launch the Center in 2005.
She has led Westchester’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 3, 2020, when some of the first cases in New York were detected, and she played a significant role in the health department’s campaign to reverse the rising death toll. She has led and supported many other successful public health initiatives and established comprehensive responses across Westchester against threats from opiate abuse and Ebola. She is a past President of the New York State Association of County Health Officers (NYSACHO). In addition, while county health commissioner, she briefly served as acting commissioner in the Department of Community Mental Health.
Previously as a CDC medical officer, Dr. Amler served as a subject matter expert in disaster mitigation and incident command, in particular hospital surge capacity and consequence management from large-scale events
Dr. Robert Amler is a public health and clinical physician, and
academic and health science administrator, with a robust track record in
strategic planning, public policy, disease control, environmental health
science, epidemiology, disaster medicine, and health risk assessment.
Widely quoted and sought after as an expert on COVID containment by
business associations and TV/print media, he has led or helped sustain
many nationwide initiatives, public health actions, and new academic
programs and regional economic development projects.
Dr. Amler is vice president for government affairs at New York Medical College and dean of
the School of Health Sciences and Practice, and Institute of Public Health. He has helped
pave the way for major groundbreaking initiatives including the NY STAR Center for
Disaster Medicine – actively focused on COVID response, financial development of New
York’s first new dental school in 50 years, and BioInc, a fully-equipped biotechnology
incubator that hosts start-up researchers developing new medical devices, vaccines, drugs
and apps. New York’s Governor appointed him chair of the “Berger” Commission’s regional
council that recommended rightsizing and financial support for hospitals and nursing
homes in the mid-Hudson region.
Dr. Amler served in the U.S. government for more than 25 years, most recently as regional
health administrator for the 32 million people living in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico
and Virgin Islands. His post-911 tenure occurred during heightened threats affecting the
New York City population, infrastructure, and landmark medical facilities, as well as
commercial ports and petroleum refineries in New Jersey. Previously he was a chief medical
officer at the CDC, a veteran of CDC’s elite Epidemic Intelligence Service, a supervisory
disease control investigator of viral diseases and environmental toxins, and a senior advisor
to the U.S. Surgeon General and other top agency officials.
Among Dr. Amler’s many awards are an FBI decoration earned following the 2001 lethal
anthrax attacks, the Edwin W. Crawford Award for Innovation, City & State NY’s
Responsible 100, “Dr. Robert W. Amler Day” declaration by the New York State Senate
Leader, and Westchester/Fairfield Business Journals‘ “Power Couple” earned with his spouse,
Westchester’s health commissioner Sherlita Amler, M.D., M.S.
Dr. Amler was educated at Dartmouth College, New York University, and Rutgers Medical
School, with post-graduate studies at Harvard Business School. He is a director of the
Hudson Valley Economic Development Council, Business Council of Westchester and
Westchester County Association, an honorary fellow of Rotary International, the honorary
public health society Delta Omega, and the author/co-author of more than 225 publications
on medical and scientific topics.
Dr. Rafael Torres was named White Plains Hospital’s first Chief Quality Officer in December 2020, punctuating a career-long focus on quality improvement and leadership in Emergency Medicine. He has a long-standing belief that quality and safety occur at the intersection of structure, process, people, and technology. Dr. Torres has practiced Emergency Medicine for 19 years, 16 of which in leadership roles at Emergency Departments in the Bronx and Westchester, New York. Prior to his appointment as Chief Quality Officer, Dr. Torres served as Director of Emergency Medicine at White Plains Hospital. In the past year, he led White Plains Hospital’s ED COVID response and testing program, and spearheaded a vaccination program that reached more than 22,000 community members across Westchester County. Dr. Torres is a graduate of Intermountain Healthcare’s Institute for Health Care Delivery Research and GNYHA/UHF Clinical Quality Fellowship Program. In December 2021, Dr. Torres will complete a Healthcare Executive MBA with a graduate certificate in Health Care Quality from George Washington University. He completed his undergraduate work at Johns Hopkins University and received his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine.