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Major Turnover In Patrick Cabinet Expected; St. Elizabeth's Chief To Lead Health

This article is more than 7 years old.
Dr. JudyAnn Bigby
Dr. JudyAnn Bigby

The Boston Globe broke the news late yesterday that Gov. Deval Patrick will announce replacements today for several top administration figures, including Health and Human Services secretary JudyAnn Bigby, finance chief Jay Gonzalez and public safety head Mary Beth Heffernan.

An administration source tells WBUR that the replacements include:

• Suffolk Sheriff Andrea Cabral as public safety secretary.

• The president of St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, John Polanowicz, as health and human services secretary.

• Glen Shor, current head of the Massachusetts Health Connector, as head of Administration and Finance.

'Connector' Chief Glen Shor
'Connector' Chief Glen Shor

An administration official says: "This is a natural transition time and we expect some change in the administration. The Governor asked all of his Secretaries for a two year commitment at the start of the second term and has asked them for a similar commitment now."

The Globe notes that the outgoing secretaries have both earned praise and been "dogged by controversies," including:

Legislative Republicans have called for Bigby to resign after a state drug lab chemist allegedly admitted to tampering with criminal evidence, while the state-regulated New England Compounding Center in Framingham was shut down after being linked to tainted steroids that caused a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.

Heffernan, who has held her job since 2010, acknowledged recommending Sheila Burgess to be the state's highway safety director despite a driving record riddled with crashes, speeding violations, and other infractions. Burgess resigned after the Globe broke the news last month.

Readers, reactions? How would you sum up the terms of the outgoing leaders, if you followed their doings? What do you expect from the new cabinet members?

This program aired on December 13, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.


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