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Nurse Appointed Administrator of CMS

Publish Date: 12/7/2011

President Obama has nominated Marilyn Tavenner, MHA BSN RN, to replace Dr. Donald Berwick as the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Berwick was appointed by President Obama in July 2010 through a recess appointment set to expire December 31, 2011; however, he will step down on December 2. Because Tavenner’s appointment is a traditional one, she will have to be confirmed by the Senate before she can officially assume the Administrator position. Tavenner will be the acting administrator during the confirmation process. At this point it is unclear when the confirmation hearings will take place.

Tavenner has served as CMS’s Principal Deputy Administrator since February 2010. She held the position of Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia immediately prior to moving to CMS. Before entering government service, Tavenner worked as a nurse for almost 20 years, as a hospital Chief Executive Officer for 3 years, and in executive positions for Hospital Corporation of America for 10 years. Tavenner has served as a board member of the American Hospital Association and as president of the Virginia Hospital Association. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Virginia Commonwealth University.

AORN is delighted that the White House has chosen a nurse to head this important federal agency responsible for administering the Medicare and Medicaid programs and for setting other administrative, regulatory and quality standards for our nation’s hospitals and other health care facilities.

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