One of the nation's foremost authorities on rural health and healthcare policy, Mary Wakefield (posing with Dean Joyce Ferrario (right) at a Decker School reception hosted in Wakefield's honor after Binghamton University's commencement) is administrator for the $7.5 billion Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA ) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. She oversees approximately 7,000 community clinics that focus on improving access to healthcare services for the uninsured, underserved and special needs populations. The agency also funds 3,000 grants for programs across the country, including ones that support educational programs in Binghamton University's Decker School of Nursing. HRSA was responsible for administering $2.5 billion from the Recovery Act to invest in the nation's healthcare infrastructure and train healthcare professionals.
Wakefield earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from Mary College in Bismarck, N.D., and her master's and doctoral degrees in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds certification as a registered nurse and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FANN).
A strong advocate for patient safety in rural environments, Wakefield contributes to the ongoing dialogue for setting priorities and implementing patient-safety measures in rural hospitals across the United States. She has also contributed to Medicare payment policy, workforce issues and public
As keynote speaker for the Third International Congress of Rural Nurses, hosted by the Decker School of Nursing and held at Binghamton University in 2002, she spoke on "Charting the Course for Rural Health in the 21st Century."
Wakefield was also named by President Obama to the U.S. Delegation of the 63rd World Health
Assembly of the World Health Organization in 2010.
Last Updated: 1/8/13