Gov. Maura Healey has tapped Kate Walsh, president and CEO of Boston Medical Heart, to guide the state’s sprawling well being and human companies secretariat, based on an announcement from the governor’s workplace.
Walsh, who has led well being care organizations across the higher Boston space for many years, is the newest of Healey’s appointments because the new governor took workplace on Jan. 5.
“Kate Walsh is strictly the chief Massachusetts wants for this second in well being care,” Healey mentioned within the announcement. “She has a confirmed observe file of delivering outcomes on well being fairness, affordability and behavioral well being, whereas additionally addressing social determinants of well being like meals and housing insecurity. She’s going to carry an modern and compassionate method to the workplace that facilities the wants of sufferers and suppliers.”
Walsh succeeds Marylou Sudders in main the most important division in Massachusetts state authorities that manages every part from MassHealth to the kid welfare system and the opioid epidemic. Sudders, the longest serving secretary for the division, retired earlier this month as the brand new administration formally took workplace.
Following Wednesday’s announcement, a number of teams got here out to congratulate Walsh on her new function.
Mark Nunnelly, chair of the BMC Well being System Board of Trustees, thanked Walsh for her 13 years of service on the group.
“Her appointment as Well being and Human Companies Secretary is a unprecedented recognition of her expertise as a profitable chief and her voice on issues of racial well being fairness nationally,” Nunnelly mentioned in a press release. “We’re excited for her to carry her expertise, ardour and dedication to excellence to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and have little question that she can be a constructive power for individuals throughout the state.”
A spokesperson for the advocacy group Well being Care For All described Walsh as a “devoted advocate:” “We’re assured she’s going to proceed advancing well being fairness, affordability and accessibility of care amidst the continued results of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges in our well being care system that impression individuals of the Commonwealth every single day.”
Dr. Alastair Bell, president of BMC Well being System, will function interim CEO of the well being system, based on Nunnelly.
Walsh began her management within the area as senior vice chairman at Massachusetts Basic Hospital 1988, earlier than she moved on to guide the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Analysis in 2002. She later she joined Brighman and Ladies’s Hospital as govt vice chairman and CEO in 2004 earlier than beginning at BMC in 2010.
Walsh acquired her bachelor’s diploma and a Grasp of Public Well being from Yale College and likewise served on boards on the Federal Reserve Financial institution of Boston, American Hospital Affiliation, Boston Public Well being Fee, Massachusetts Well being & Hospital Affiliation, Affiliation of American Medical Schools, America’s Important Hospitals and the Pine Avenue Inn, based on BMC.
In her function as CEO of BMC, Kate Walsh advocated on Beacon Hill for higher assets for behavioral well being care, and led a collaborative to create inexpensive housing in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan to coach and join Black and Latinx residents with full-time jobs in well being care, know-how and biotech industries.
“At Boston Medical Heart, we see the results of unstable housing and a scarcity of financial alternative mirrored within the well being of our sufferers every day,” Walsh mentioned in 2020 when the collaborative secured a $5 million grant.
As the top of the Govt Workplace of Well being and Human Companies, Walsh will lead a division that oversees 12 state businesses and the MassHealth program, with a mixed finances of over $27 billion and 22,000 public workers. In accordance with the EOHHS web site, the companies and packages that fall underneath the workplace’s oversight symbolize 53% of the state’s finances and supply therapy to 1 in each three residents.
With reporting from WBUR’s senior well being reporter Priyanka Dayal McCluskey and State Home Information Service’s Sam Drysdale.