Dr. Shirish Balachandra has been appointed as the Commonwealth Health Center’s new medical director, a position left vacant by Dr. Richard Brostrom.
The appointment paper, issued on Monday, also named him the Division of Public Health program manager for the chest clinic’s TB program.
Public Health Secretary Joseph Kevin Villagomez asked for all employees’ cooperation as Balachandra takes on his new role at the hospital.
Saipan Tribune learned that Dr. Balachandra is one of the emergency doctors on rotation at the ER.
He was born in Illinois and grew up in Los Angeles, California and lived in India, Honduras, France and Cameroon, where he worked as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, serving Somali and Liberia refugees in the area.
It was also learned that Dr. Balachandra studied molecular biology and French literature at the University of California Berkeley and went to medical school at McGill University in Montréal, Canada.
In May 2008, he moved to the island with his wife, April, the hospital’s nursing director, and children.
The medical director position became vacant in August when Brostrom resigned. He was both the hospital’s medical director and manager for the TB program.
Brostrom, who relocated to Hawaii for another medical position, was with the department for almost a decade and was the attending physician at the hospital’s chest clinic.
Last week, the hospital reported a total of 24 physicians onboard, including two locums—short-term hires.
DPH officials said recruitment is ongoing for more CHC physicians.