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Dr. Mandy Cohen was appointed to the role of Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in January 2017 by Governor Roy Cooper. Secretary Cohen and her team work tirelessly to improve the health, safety and well-being of all North Carolinians. NC DHHS has 17,000 employees and an annual budget of $20 billion serving as the home to NC Medicaid, Public Health, Mental Health/IDD/SUD, State Operated Hospitals and Facilities, Economic Services, Adult and Child Services, Early Childhood Education, Employment Services, and Health Services Regulation. Secretary Cohen and her team are focused on responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, building a robust, efficient Medicaid program, improving early childhood health, safety and education, combatting the opioid crisis, and ensuring equitable access to health resources.
Secretary Cohen has been recognized a national leader for her work at DHHS. In February of 2019, Modern Healthcare named Secretary Cohen one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Healthcare. In September of 2020, Secretary Cohen was awarded the Leadership in Public Health Practice Award from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health for her strong leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic response, including her use of data and ability to communicate with empathy, compassion, and transparency.
Secretary Cohen is also an Adjunct Professor in Health Policy & Management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. A graduate of Cornell University, she received her medical degree from Yale School of Medicine and a Master’s in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She trained in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Secretary Cohen is married to Sam Cohen, a health care regulatory attorney and Senior Vice President for Health Policy at Curi. They have two daughters, ages 6 and 9.