His appointment to the role means that Gandhi will be replacing the current chief medical officer, Dr. Duane Caneva. Caneva had been appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2018.
Gandhi had been the associate medical director for the People's Community Clinic of Austin, an East Austin clinic that cares for over 16,000 uninsured Central Texans, before the clinic announced he had been appointed chief medical officer on Thursday.
He is also an affiliate faculty member specializing in population health and pediatrics at the University of Texas Dell Medical School. He ran to represent Texas' 10th Congressional District but lost the primary runoff in 2020.
After finishing his studies at Tufts School of Medicine, the London School of Economics and Johns Hopkins University, Gandhi has spent his career working with marginalized and impoverished communities and has had a particular focus on poverty reduction.
"He has been an outstanding leader for our clinic and our community during one of the most difficult times in our country's history," Regina Rogoff, People's chief executive officer, told KVUE. "We are proud of the relationship Dr. Gandhi has had with us, and wish him the best in this new and very critical role for our country."
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More vaccines could be headed to Austin as FDA greenlights single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine
This story was updated Monday to include that the vaccine received official approval by the FDA this weekend.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine that is to be shipped out this month, increasing the number of vaccines available.
In a virtual meeting on Friday, the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee unanimously approved of the U.S.'s third available COVID-19 vaccine, which was officially approved on Saturday. Federal officials say 4 million doses will go out nationally this week, with an expected 20 million doses to be available by the end of March. The Texas Department of State Health Services has said it expects to receive about 200,000 doses, but has not released a timeline of when doses will be shipped and available.