PATERSON, NJ - Mayor Andre Sayegh announced the addition of Paterson native Oshin Castillo to his Administration on Thursday.

The lifelong resident is slated to take over as the city’s new Director of Health and Human Services on Tuesday, September 3.

“Oshin has experience working in Human Services and will provide insight on the best practices learned from her previous position,” Sayegh said. “She’s also making history as the first Dominican American department head. Paterson will benefit from her leadership.” 

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Included in her experience that Sayegh touted is Castillo’s time as the Special Assistant to the Director of the Passaic County Human Services Department, a position she currently holds. In this role, the statement said, Castillo has planned and organized department initiatives on intellectual disabilities and opioids, and participated in advisory council, youth services, human services committee and state meetings with the State Department of Human Service and the Department of Children and Families.

“For too long Paterson has failed to take advantage of a whole range of opportunities and programs available to our residents,” Castillo told TAPinto Paterson. “Mayor Sayegh has committed and proven that this will no longer be the case and I am proud of the trust he is placing in me.”

Asked to offer specifics Castillo offered that among the opportunities that already exist are transportation and nutrition programs for seniors, as well as social welfare and jobs readiness training for military veterans. Under her watch the department will also seek innovative solutions to long standing issues she said.

As the statement did also, Castillo pointed to her time as a member and president of the Paterson Board of Education as further proof of her readiness for the job. Helping to oversee and administer the education of almost 30,000 students and manage 5,000 employees has her well prepared for her new management role. “I am honored that Paterson parents have put their trust in me when it comes to their children’s education, and now I humbly ask them to extend that trust to include the health of our city.”

Included also in Castillo’s responsibilities, Sayegh said, will be developing city wide strategies to combat homelessness and the opioid epidemic. Castillo will also implement resident empowerment programs and improve services for seniors and those with disabilities. She will also oversee numerous federal grants through the department. 

“There is something about being a Patersonian that drives many of us to want to serve our city,” Castillo said when asked about her chosen career path of public service. “This city has given me so much, and I am proud to be able to give back.”

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