Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday announced the appointment of Patrick M. Allen as cabinet secretary of the Department of Health.
Allen will assume leadership of the department Jan. 3.
“Patrick is a regulator and public health professional with a proven record in improving health-care systems, and I have full confidence he will do the same here in New Mexico,” said Lujan Grisham. “He shares my vision of a New Mexico that fosters better health outcomes for every resident of our beautiful state.”
Allen has spent more than 30 years in public service, most recently serving as the director of the Oregon Health Authority under Gov. Kate Brown.
In that role, Allen significantly improved access to affordable and equitable health care for Oregonians, achieving health insurance coverage for over 95 percent of residents. He also led the state’s health department throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with Oregon ultimately seeing the second-lowest rate of infection in the country.
“I’m grateful to the governor for this opportunity and look forward to working to meet her goal to continue to improve health outcomes for all New Mexicans,” said Allen.
Prior to working at the Health Authority, he served in several roles at the state’s Department of Consumer and Business Services, including as director. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Oregon State University.
Acting Cabinet Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D., will step away from the Department of Health and continue in his role as cabinet secretary for the Human Services Department.
“I’m grateful to Dr. Scrase for his service to New Mexicans as secretary of the Department of Health. Because of his leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our state had a nationally leading response that saved the lives of countless New Mexicans,” the governor said. “On top of that, the Department of Health undertook numerous other initiatives that are improving health outcomes around the state. Thank you, Dr. Scrase.”