Gifford quits position as director of Health Department

Providence, RI – The director of the Rhode Island Department of Health is stepping down from his position.

Dr. David Gifford submitted his resignation to Governor Chafee late Friday afternoon, to the surprise of his staff and the administration. He says he's been thinking about the direction of his life, and he wants to spend more time working on improving the quality and delivery of health care.

"I've been doing this for six years, and I've enjoyed it a great deal," Gifford says, "and I think it's an opportunity to move on to the next sort of challenges in my life."

In a written statement, Governor Chafee says he accepted Gifford's resignation with great regret.

Gifford's position was not up for review by the new Governor- his five year term was recently renewed and wasn't set to expire until March of 2015.

Gifford says he has not started looking for a new job. He'll remain in the position until the end of February.

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