Big Apple doctor-in-chief seeks community approach

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New York's new health commissioner isn't interested in being a nanny. Think of her more as a tutor.

Dr. Mary Bassett is listening to the city's diverse communities and tailoring programs to tackle specific health issues and life expectancy disparities.

It's a shift from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration, which some critics derided for sweeping health mandates from on high, including a ban on trans fats and a push to ban big sugary drinks.

The 61-year-old faces a broad challenge as the physician-in-chief for more than 8.4 million New Yorkers.

She's charged with guiding the city's response to worldwide epidemics while, in her day-to-day, working on programs to confront a variety of issues from excessive drinking to unplanned pregnancy.

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