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Donald M. Berwick, M.D. Announces Candidacy for Massachusetts Governor

June 17, 2013
by Mark Hagland
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The former acting administrator of CMS officially enters the 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial race

On June 17, Donald M. Berwick, formerly acting administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced officially that he was entering the 2014 race for governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

As reported by Joshua Miller in the Boston Globe, via, Dr. Berwick said in a statement, “As a doctor, an educator, an innovator and someone who has dedicated his professional career to making things work better and to helping people—I am ready to lead.”

Berwick’s recent history revolves around his tenure at CMS, and the circumstances surrounding that tenure. President Barack Obama nominated Berwick in April 2010 to be CMS administrator;vbut some Republican members of the Senate opposed that nomination, based on his having expressed admiration for the National Health Service of the U.K. and for his expressing the view that comparative effectiveness research would be needed in order to optimize the use of scarce resources in healthcare. As a result of sustained opposition on the part of Republicans in Congress, President Obama installed Dr. Berwick as acting CMS administrator in July 2010, allowing him to serve until the summer of 2011 without Senate approval. In January 2011, the President renominated Berwick, but in March of that year, 42 Republican senators asked for his nomination to be withdrawn. Berwick resigned his position at CMS in December 2011, and was succeeded by Marilyn Tavenner, R.N., in that position.

With regard to the upcoming gubernatorial race, the Globe story notes, “Another Democratic physician, Dr. Joseph Avellone, has already announced a bid for the corner office in 2014. U.S. representative Michael E. Capuano and state treasure Steven Grossman, both Democrats, have said they are pondering bids for governor as well,” the story noted.  “On the Republican side,” it said, “Charles D. Baker, the GOP nominee who lost to Governor Deval Patrick in 2010, is considering another run.”

Dr. Berwick, 66, was for years best known as president and CEO of the Cambridge, Mass.-based Institution for Healthcare Improvement, which he co-founded in 1989, and where he served until 2010.



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