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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Columbia Alumna and Former New Jersey State Health Commissioner Named Executive Director

Mailman School of Public Health alumna Ms. Mary E. O’Dowd was named executive director for health systems and population health integration at Rutgers Health where she will support the academic health care provider in its initiatives to promote health and wellness. Ms. O’Dowd served as former commissioner of the 1,200-member State of New Jersey Department of Health from 2011 to 2015 after first working as deputy commissioner. Since last year she has also been a member of the board of directors of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.

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[Photo: Ms. Mary E. O’Dowd]

At the Mailman School, Ms. O’Dowd was a member of the Executive Program in the department of health policy & management.

Ms. O’Dowd cited three achievements while serving as commissioner – improving the health of newborns by increasing breastfeeding rates, expanding the hospital-based screening program for previously undetected illnesses among newborns, and implementing a program that empowers individuals to effectively plan end-of-life care with their health care providers.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the people of New Jersey as a member of the Rutgers Health team,” said Ms. O’Dowd, who studied biology as an undergraduate at Rutgers University’s Douglass College. “My experiences allow me to relate well to Rutgers’ desire to make population health a priority, improve the patient experience, and develop a viable business case for prevention and wellness.”