Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, both the Trump and Biden-Harris administrations used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a primary authority to collect and disseminate information about the virus. Although the public initially lauded the agency’s efforts, the changing protocols and communication directions. In Washington, DC’s, often-polarizing political environment, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, bore the brunt of the blame, and in May 2023, she announced her resignation effective June 30.

To change the narrative, the Biden-Harris administration selected Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, as Walensky's successor for CDC director. In his June 2023 statement, the president called Cohen “one of the nation’s top physicians and health leaders with experience leading large and complex organizations and a proven track record protecting Americans’ health and safety.”

Cohen’s experience as secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services and senior leadership at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as the bipartisan accolades she’s received for her leadership during the pandemic, make her well-suited to the position.

In her roles at CMS from 2013–2015, she worked largely with Marketplace and other insurance coverage and reimbursement, which position her as a strong advocate for eliminating the financial toxicities that many patients with cancer experience. In 2020, she championed the known strategies to combat COVID-19 and protected the North Carolina public.

Cohen’s mother is a nurse practitioner, underlying her strong support for nurses. Take advantage of your opportunity to raise your voice to that listening ear and get involved ONS’s advocacy efforts to advance today’s critical conversations about access to and affordability of cancer care.