|Michael F. Easley
|Carmen Hooker Odom
For Release: IMMEDIATE
DHHS SECRETARY HOOKER ODOM TO LEAD MILBANK MEMORIAL FUND
RALEIGH – North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Carmen Hooker Odom today announced that she will become President of the Milbank Memorial Fund. The Fund is a New-York based foundation that conducts non-partisan analysis, study and research on significant issues in health policy.
“Accepting this position gives me an unprecedented opportunity to have an impact on the future of critical health care issues across the nation. Leaving DHHS is a tough decision. Our team has accomplished so much during the past six- and-a-half years, but I think we have laid a good platform for continued future success in many areas,” she said. “But, I believe that I can continue to make a difference improving health care for all Americans by working with Milbank.”
Hooker Odom has served on the Milbank Board of Directors since 2001. Milbank Board Chairman Tony Milbank says he has watched Hooker Odom during that time and that she is a good fit to lead the Fund. “We're ecstatic that she agreed to take the position,” he said. “She has the depth of knowledge, the imagination and the presence to bring divergent views to a consensus.”
Hooker Odom said that serving as DHHS Secretary has been a “rewarding” experience. “The thing about this job is that no two days are alike,” she said. “There are constant challenges but many rewards. In the past six years, I have had the opportunity to meet many of the people that we serve. Looking into their eyes and seeing how their lives are improved by our work – quite simply, this has been one of the most exciting and rewarding time s of my life.”
Gov. Mike Easley appointed Hooker Odom DHHS Secretary in January 2001. During her tenure as Secretary, DHHS has:
Hooker Odom has a distinguished career in public service. Prior to relocating to North Carolina , she served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives where she focused on health care issues.
The Milbank Memorial Fund has remained true to its mission since its founding in 1905 by the Milbank family. In addition to serving on the board of directors, Hooker Odom served as a Project Officer with the Fund in the mid-1990s.
Hooker Odom will stay in her position through the legislative session. She begins her work with the Milbank Memorial Fund in October.
Hooker Odom is married to former state Senator Fountain Odom, an attorney, tree farmer and apiarist. Between them, they have three daughters, three sons and 11 grandchildren. The couple will relocate to Manhattan this fall.
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