Kate Walsh appointed as Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services 

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll appoint Kate Walsh, the current Chief Executive Officer of the Boston Medical Center Health System, as the new Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. 

Walsh is from Boston and received her Bachelor of Arts degree, as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Yale University, according to a news release from the Office of Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll. She has been a member of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the board of the American Hospital Association, America’s Essentials Hospitals the Boston Public Health Commission, the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, Pine Street Inn, and Yale University.

Walsh served as CEO of BMC Health System for nearly 13 years, which included helping manage Covid-19 surges and recoveries by expanding telehealth capabilities, as well as supporting regional resource management, establishing a Covid-19 Recuperation Unit, and coordinating with state and local government.

“Kate Walsh is exactly the leader Massachusetts needs for this moment in health care,” said Governor Healey. “She has a proven track record of delivering results on health equity, affordability, and behavioral health, while also addressing social determinants of health like food and housing insecurity. She will bring an innovative and compassionate approach to the office that centers the needs of patients and providers.” 

Walsh also oversaw a Clinical Campus Redesign project at Boston Medical Center with the goal of decreasing costs and creating modern facilities. She also established BMC Health System’s Health Equity Accelerator back in November of 2021 to help transform health care and eliminate gaps in life expectancy and quality of life in different races and ethnicities.  

While in her tenure, Walsh maintained a stable financial performance across BMC Health Systems, while earning privileges as one of the 100 Great Hospitals by Becker’s Hospital Review, the 4th Most Socially Responsible Hospitals in the Nation by the Lown Group in 2022, and one of Forbes 2022 Best in State Employers.

Walsh also has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Chief Operating Officer for Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, and Senior Vice President of Medical Services, at the MGH Cancer Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and held positions in a number of New York City hospitals including Montefiore, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Saint Luke’s, Roosevelt Hospital Center and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. 

“I’m honored to join the Healey and Driscoll Administration as Secretary of Health and Human Services,” said Walsh. “This is a critical moment for our state, as we continue to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, widening health disparities, skyrocketing healthcare costs, and a devastating behavioral health crisis. Together, we will work to advance racial health equity, address affordability, spur innovative solutions to our healthcare challenges, and ensure that people live healthy lives.”