What The Politics?! Ep. 11: Leadership during a pandemic

WNCT Podcast Network

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – This week on What The Politics?!, we sit down with Dr. Mandy Cohen, the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The challenges of the coronavirus pandemic have been overwhelming — from losing loved ones, jobs and struggling with isolation. How do leaders respond to the call of this challenge? What are the conversations that go on behind the scenes, beyond the weekly press conferences from the state?

These are just some of the questions we ask Dr. Cohen, who leads the state’s COVID-19 taskforce.

More about Dr. Mandy Cohen –

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 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 as 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.

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