Governor Deval Patrick appointed JudyAnn Bigby the Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2007. As Secretary, she oversees the state’s Medicaid program, public health, child welfare, disabilities, and veterans and elder affairs, among other agencies. She was responsible for implementing many of the features of the 2006 Massachusetts health reform law. Massachusetts achieved near-universal coverage, with 98 percent of the population covered, including 99.8 percent of children. Implementation of the law has contributed to narrowing disparities in health care coverage and access to primary care in Massachusetts.
In Governor Patrick’s second term, Secretary Bigby is leading ambitious efforts to sustain the access achieved through expanded coverage and promote policies that will establish primary care as the foundation for Massachusetts health care delivery systems, promote integrated care, and decrease the growth in health care spending while enabling innovative delivery system reforms such as expanded use of community health workers and peer health workers.
Dr. Bigby is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum. In 2011 President Obama appointed her as one of the inaugural members of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health of the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council.
Prior to her appointment as Secretary in 2007, she practiced as a primary care physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and was the Director of Community Health Programs. She also served as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, where she was Director of the Harvard Medical School Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. Her work focused on improving systems of care for low-income and minority women to address disparities in birth outcomes and in breast and cervical cancer rates. Dr. Bigby holds a B.A. from Wellesley College, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and honorary degrees from Lesley University, Pine Manor College, and the New England College of Law.