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The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Executive Department

State House Boston, MA 02133

(617) 725-4000








January 16, 2003



Shawn Feddeman

(617) 727-2759

Executive Department




Governor Mitt Romney today appointed Christine C. Ferguson as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.


"In this era of fiscal belt-tightening, we need to ensure that Massachusetts continues to lead the nation on public health issues - from AIDS prevention to bioterrorism preparedness," said Romney . "I am confident that Christy is the right person to help lead this effort."


A nationally recognized expert in health care financing, organization and delivery on both the state and federal level, Ferguson served as Director of the Rhode Island Department of Human Services for seven years. She also served as Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff for the late Senator John Chafee from 1981 to 1994. Most recently Ferguson was a candidate for Congress in Rhode Island District 1.


As Director of the Rhode Island Department of Human Services, Ferguson spearheaded the state's health care reform effort, restructuring Rhode Island's faltering Medicaid managed care program, RIte Care, making it a national model. Under her leadership, Rhode Island led the nation in providing health care to children and families.


As a top aide to the late Senator Chafee, Ferguson was responsible for the Senator's legislative and policy agenda, and was the principal architect of the Republican alternative to the Clinton Health Care Reform Plan.


"I'm excited to be part of Governor Romney's effort to reform government. This is a wonderful challenge, a great Administration and a fantastic opportunity," added Ferguson.


Ferguson serves on the Executive Board of the National Academy of State Health Policy. She was the youngest person ever to be named one of the "100 Most Influential Attorneys" by the U.S. National Law Journal and was heralded as a "Profile in Courage" by author David Broder in his book, "The System." She was also the recipient of the Community Service Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers and the Silver Rattle Award from Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies.


Thomas J. Anton, Director of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions at Brown University, added, "She has led the way toward breaking down organizational and programmatic barriers ... and she has shown by example that collaborative action is not only possible but effective."


Ferguson received her law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University and her bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. She is a Rhode Island native.

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