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PowerPlayer: Dr. Michael Fine

Monday, March 14, 2011


Tapped to be the interim head of the Health Department under a new administration - all the while keeping up with his permanent job at the Department of Corrections, Dr. Michael Fine certainly has his hands full these days. Easily one of Rhode Island's most powerful doctors, Dr. Fine recently spoke with GoLocalProv for our latest PowerPlayers feature.

1. You've just changed roles. What's your new post, and how's that going?

Interim Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health.
2. Take us through a day in your life.

Usually starts with the morning huddle at DOH. Lots of meetings at DOH , the State House, and sometimes site visits to community health centers and other health care facilities. Lots of learning, lots of phone calls, and lots of email. There is no better or smarter set of public servants than those at HEALTH (other than those at DOC). Then I go over to DOC in the afternoon, for meetings, to review cases and answer inmate letters and families’ phone calls. I've been finishing up between 730 and 8 pm, and get to take all sorts of interesting reading home.

3. If you hadn't heard, Rhode Island is small, which means everyone seems to know what everyone else is doing. Are you conscious of your role as a public figure? No.

4. What's the most difficult/disappointing part of your job?

Trying to do two jobs at once.

5. If you could change one thing about the state, what would it be?

The amount of sick time state employees get and how it is structured, which impairs our collective effectiveness.

6. Tell us something nobody knows about you.

I stopped being a Yankees fan when George Steinbrenner fired Reggie Jackson. Steinbrenner died last year, and Jackson became a Yankees VP, but I still bear a grudge. A good grudge is hard to find.

(Quick Hitters)

Role Model: Lucuis Garvin, MD

Favorite Restaurant: 1. Sue's 2. Cindy's

Best Beach: Misquamicut

Best Book You’ve Read In The Last Year: Anna Karenina

Advice For The Next Michael Fine: There is nothing to fear but fear itself.


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