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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.|
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Today, Governor Chris Christie administered the oath of office to Mary E. ODowd as Commissioner of the Department of Health and Senior Services in a swearing-in ceremony held at the Departments
With her strong background in public health, Mary will be a champion for improving and protecting the health of all New Jerseyans, said Governor Christie. I am confident Mary will use her health policy and hospital finance expertise to strengthen the states health care delivery system and enhance access to health services for our residents."
Commissioner ODowd, 33, has wide-ranging experience in health care policy and hospital management and finance. The commissioner has worked at the Department for three and a half years under two administrations as acting commissioner, deputy commissioner and chief of staff. She is a graduate of
O'Dowd served as Deputy Commissioner of the Department for a year before being nominated by Governor Christie on March 25, 2011 to serve as the states health commissioner. As Deputy Commissioner, O'Dowd oversaw several areas of the Department: Healthcare Financing; Facilities Evaluation and Licensing; Aging and Community Services and Senior Benefits. ODowd served as chief of staff for the Department from January 2008 to March 2010.
Prior to joining the Department, ODowd completed a fellowship in hospital finance at NYU and then worked for three years in the Emergency Department at NYU.
As deputy commissioner, ODowd helped to significantly increase funding for hospitals and reformed charity care to make it more transparent and predictable. Despite an unprecedented fiscal crisis in the current state fiscal year, Commissioner ODowd worked closely with Governor Christie to add $85 million in charity care to the Department's budget. She also worked with Governor Christie to ensure that funding was preserved for the state's popular discount prescription drug programs for seniors. Nearly 164,000 low-income seniors and disabled residents benefit from Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) and Senior Gold.
As chief of staff, ODowd coordinated the states response to the emergence of a novel flu virus, which required collaboration with federal, state, county and local officials, schools, health care providers and other partners. Working closely with the Departments physician leaders and local public health officials, the state was able to control the spread of H1N1 and achieve a successful vaccination program.
ODowd recently moved to
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360