Virginia health and human resources secretary steps down, named as Washington state CMO


Nicole Pasia


After four years as Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Daniel Carey will begin his new term as the chief medical officer for Providence Physician Enterprise, a major Washington state-based Catholic health system, in early 2022. Dr. Vanessa Walker Harris, a deputy secretary and former director at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), has succeeded him.


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Dr. Carey will “provide oversight and guidance to strategic alignment, quality, safety, physician leadership development and care delivery models for the Physician Enterprise,” according to a recent announcement from Providence. 

Along with Carey, Prasanna Mohanty, previously the vice president of clinical operations for Cedars-Sinai Medical network in Los Angeles, will join Providence as the chief operating officer. Mohanty will oversee the alignment of Providence’s various medical groups across Washington state. 

Dr. David Kim, chief executive of Physician Enterprise at Providence, welcomed both Carey and Mohanty.

“Together as a team we have been able to maintain our focus during a global pandemic, continue to make great progress toward our goals of providing Providence patients with an exceptional care experience, and helping them to live the healthiest life possible. I look forward to partnering with both leaders to continue the important work of our Physician Enterprise.”   

Image: Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources

During his time as secretary, Carey has been instrumental in health care discussions throughout the Commonwealth. Carey worked in tandem with over a dozen agencies, including VDH, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), and the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS). 

Carey was also a member of the Joint Commission on Health Care, working with policymakers to improve maternal mortality rates, long-term care facilities, and COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

One of his most significant developments was the unveiling of the Virginia Mental Health Access Program (VMAP) in May to address the shortage of mental health providers in the state. VMAP educates primary care providers on addressing mental health and uses call centers to connect patients with psychiatrists and other professionals. 

Prior to joining Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration, Carey served as the senior vice president and CMO of Centra Health.