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Mary Wakefield Picked as HRSA Chief

By Philip Rucker
President Obama may not have a health department secretary, but he is moving to fill out his team of health care advisers. Today he appointed a leading expert in rural health care to become administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency that oversees programs that bring health care to uninsured people, particularly in underserved areas of the country.

Mary Wakefield, a nurse who most recently directed the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota, will run HRSA, which oversees community health centers across the nation. She will help implement the economic stimulus bill, as the agency will administer $2.5 billion to invest in health care infrastructure and train health care professionals.

"As a nurse, a Ph.D., and a leading rural healthcare advocate, Mary Wakefield brings expertise that will be instrumental in expanding and improving services for those who are currently uninsured or underserved," President Obama said in a statement. "Under her leadership we will be able to expand and improve the care provided at the Community Health Centers which serve millions of uninsured Americans and address severe provider shortages across the country."

Wakefield is regarded as an expert in rural health care, patient safety, Medicare payment policy, workforce issues and public policy, according to the White House. She previously served as director of the Center for Health Policy, Research and Ethics at George Mason University in Northern Virginia and has been chief of staff to two Democratic senators from Nebraska.

Wakefield, who has served on several health care commissions and advisory boards and received numerous awards, received a master's degree in nursing and a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Mary at Bismark, N.D.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 20, 2009; 4:21 PM ET
Categories:  Cabinet , Cast of Characters  
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Comments

As a nurse practitioner working with a clinic for the working uninsured, I welcome a "reality-based, experienced" voice in the development of community health centers. Lasting & effective health care reform will only be achieved if people who have actually done the work become involved in the solution. If you have sat across the table with a newly diagnosed diabetic patient who has limited transportation, poor literacy skills, and difficulty understanding their drugs, foods, exercise, etc., you will be more likely to know what actually works and what is "window dressing". Until people who DO the work become involved in the SOLUTIONS, we will not achieve success. I am so happy to see this appointment, and it gives me hope that some meaningful outcomes will be enacted. Nurses are by and large very practical people and usually search for the most direct path to a result--even if it seems out of the ordinary. Thank you President Obama and congratulations to Ms. Wakefield.

Posted by: leslieakins | February 24, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

The registered nurses ofDistrict 1 Professional Nurses Association of Western New York congratulates Mary Wakefield, RN on her recent appointment as HRSA Chief. It is vital to our profession that we are visible to the public as educated professionals who make huge contributions to the healthcare system. It will be registered nurses in conjunction with other healthcare providers that fix the mess our healthcare system currently finds itself in.

Posted by: nurse80 | February 24, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Dr Mary Wakefield on her appointment to HRSA, and to the Obama team for selecting a respected and outstanding professional nurse leader for this position. Her background and expertise at many levels in health care and public service make her an excellent choice at a time when expert care giving, patient safety, and competence for all healthcare professionals is urgently needed. She also will promote efforts to increase the supply of competent healthcare providers to offset the serious and increasing shortage of essential personnel across this country.
Carrie B. Lenburg, EdD, RN, FAAN, ANEF

Posted by: clenburg12 | February 23, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Who cares about HRSA (or "directed energy weapons")? If you get a paycheck, and want to join the "Chicago Tea Party": print out a W-4 form and max out your allowances to 9 -- turn it in to your employer TODAY -- that will send a HUGE message to Obama and the Dems.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf

Posted by: JakeD | February 20, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

She worked for 2 Senators from North Dakota not Nebraska.

Posted by: chiquita2 | February 20, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Wakefield: "First, Do No Harm"

ATTENTION: All Federal/State/Local Health Care Officials

RE: DOJ-approved RADIATION WEAPONRY (a/k/a "Directed Energy Weapons"...

...being used by security/law enforcement and their nationwide vigilante "extrajudicial punishment network"...

...to silently, covertly TORTURE and degrade the health of your constituents

ONGOING 'EXTRAJUDICIAL PUNISHMENT NETWORK'
TORTURES INNOCENT BUT TARGETED AMERICANS...

...WITH DOJ-APPROVED RADIATION WEAPONS AND GOV'T-SUPPORTED COMMUNITY GANG STALKING.

WHEN WILL BARACK OBAMA AND ERIC HOLDER RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW IN BUCKS COUNTY, PA, PHILA., NYC, D.C. AND ALL ACROSS AMERICA?

An IMMEDIATE series of executive orders banning the Bush-Cheney "extrajudicial punishment vigilante network"...

...and its coordinated array of government "programs of personal destruction"...

...could dismantle this American Gestapo -- and stop the persecution of untold thousands of unconstitutionally "targeted" U.S. citizens and their families...

...a methodical social genocide that surely has contributed to the mortgage meltdown that spawned the global financial crisis.

The "Truth Commission" is needed...

...but first, President Obama and Atty. Gen. Holder, end the crimes against humanity and the unconstitutional abuses of power.

IT IS DAY 32 OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

DO YOU R*E*A*L*L*Y KNOW WHAT YOUR SECURITY MULTI-AGENCY COORDINATION NETWORK IS UP TO?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):
http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 20, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

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