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Former NRHA member takes No. 2 spot at HHS

The National Rural Health Association is pleased that former NRHA member and longtime rural health advocate Mary Wakefield will serve as acting deputy administrator of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “We are thrilled to see such a strong rural advocate assume a key position within HHS,” said Alan Morgan, NRHA CEO. “Dr. Wakefield is a stalwart champion for rural health within the administration.” Just after Thursday’s announcement, Wakefield, a nurse from North Dakota, confirmed that rural health will continue to be one of her priorities. She has led the Health Resources and Services Administration for the past five years. HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell praised Wakefield’s ability to lead “through a time of marked transformation." “She has improved access to health for millions of patients, strengthening America’s health care workforce,” she wrote. Jim Macrae, currently the associate administrator for primary health care, will serve as HRSA’s acting administrator. “He will certainly be a great person to work with as we move forward,” Morgan said.

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