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. 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 building a strong, efficient Medicaid program, improving early childhood health, safety and education and combatting the opioid crisis.
Secretary Cohen is an internal medicine physician and has experience leading complex health organizations. Before coming to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, she was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). She brings a deep understanding of health care to the state and has been responsible for implementing policies for Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace.
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 2018, Rock Health honored her with a “Top 50 in Digital Health” award for DHHS initiatives incorporating healthy opportunities across the Department’s work as well as using data to drive program improvements.
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. They have two daughters, ages 4 and 7.