by Jasmine Batchelor
December 15, 2017
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Since being appointed as Secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services in January, Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, and her team have worked tirelessly to improve the health safety and well-being of North Carolinians. Among her top priorities are combating the opioid crisis, building a strong, efficient Medicaid program, and improving early childhood education.
Secretary Cohen has called on clinicians across the state to assist in fighting the opioid epidemic by screening patients for risk or presence of opioid use disorder, connecting them with evidence-based treatment and using prescribing software, as well as registering with the N.C. Controlled Substance Reporting System to review patient prescription histories. In May, she began a multi-city tour of listening sessions to hear feedback from residents on Medicaid and NC Health Choice transformation.
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 & 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 Marketplace.
A graduate of Cornell University, she received her medical degree from Yale School of Medicine, a Master’s in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health and trained in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Cohen is married to Sam Cohen, a health care regulatory lawyer. The couple has two young daughters.