Carole Johnson returned to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the new administrator of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in December 2021. Johnson, who previously served as testing coordinator for the White House COVID-19 response team before being replaced by HHS’s Tom Inglesby, expanded access to health services in New Jersey as the state’s human services commissioner.
During her time as human services commissioner, Johnson expanded New Jersey’s Medicaid coverage of mental health and substance use disorders, created new Medicaid benefits to improve maternal health outcomes, and integrated Medicaid into the state-based Affordable Care Act marketplace, according to HRSA. In addition, Johnson’s department increased childcare and food assistance benefits and created the Office of New Americans to support New Jersey’s diverse communities.
Johnson was the domestic policy council public health lead under President Barack Obama, working on responses to Ebola and Zika and the opioid crisis. Under President Joe Biden, Johnson has “corralled medical personnel and first responders to turn the Delta tide across COVID-19 hot spots,” according to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.
"Not only does Johnson know how to leverage the most effective tools to battle the most pressing public health challenges, she also has a strong track record of getting results at the state and national level,” Becerra said. “In her new role, the Biden-Harris administration and our nation will continue to benefit from Johnson’s experience and policy acumen.”