Mary E. O'Dowd Appointed Executive Director for Health Systems and Population Health Integration

To the RBHS Community:

I am pleased to announce that Mary E. O'Dowd, former commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health has joined Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences where she will be serving as the Executive Director for Health Systems and Population Health Integration. In this capacity she will be supporting our initiatives to promote health and wellness and working closely with Senior Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs Vicente Gracias as we pursue a strategy focused on population health statewide.

Mary O'Dowd is a graduate of Rutgers' Douglass College and earned her Master's in Public Health degree from Columbia University. She led the 1,200-member New Jersey State Department of Health from 2011 to 2015, after first working as deputy commissioner, and since last year has been a member of the board of directors of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. She has longstanding ties with Rutgers University serving as the alumna representative on the Institute for Women's Leadership Advisory Board and as an internship sponsor for the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Douglass College, and the Institute for Women's Leadership.

As Commissioner of Health, Ms. O'Dowd achieved advances in 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. These experiences will prove to be invaluable as we implement our initiatives through Rutgers Health and Rutgers Health Group to adapt to and become a leader in the evolving health care marketplace.

Please join me in welcoming Ms. O'Dowd to RBHS.


Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH 
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs 
Chancellor, RBHS