One of the nursing profession’s most well-known leaders has been appointed to the No. 2 spot on the Department of Health and Human Services leadership team. On March 12, Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, health resources and services administrator, agreed to serve as the acting deputy secretary of Health and Human Services upon the departure of Bill Corr.
Department Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell described Wakefield’s tenure as HRSA administrator as leading its 1,800 employees “through a time of marked transformation” and said she improved access to healthcare for millions of patients, strengthening the country’s healthcare workforce, and modernized HRSA’s organizational infrastructure. “Using her skills as a nurse, manager and academic leader, she has helped HRSA not only meet its mission, but has fostered an environment of innovation and collaboration that is evident in the work that HRSA does across the department and with its partners throughout the country,” Burwell wrote in a letter.
During her tenure at HRSA, Wakefield oversaw growth of its community health centers, which now serve 22 million patients a year, according to an article in The Hill. She also helped develop programs such as the National Health Service Corps, which has more than doubled its number of clinicians to 9,200, according to the article. •
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