Va. health secretary stepping down as Northam term soon ends

October 26, 2021 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s health secretary, who’s held a key role in the state government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is leaving his job as Gov. Ralph Northam’s term soon closes to work for a nonprofit health system.

Dan Carey’s last day at the post will be Friday, Northam’s office told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He will become chief medical officer for Providence Physician Enterprise, a collective of affiliated physicians and medical groups based in Washington, D.C.

Carey was named secretary of health and human resources shortly before Northam took office in 2018. He was a key adviser to the governor on pandemic restrictions and public messaging.


In a letter to the governor’s Cabinet, Carey said serving as secretary “has been the greatest privilege of my professional life,” and described the last two years as “immersive and all-consuming.”

Carey is the latest top official in the Northam administration to leave before his term ends in January. Others include finance secretary Aubrey Layne, chief counsel Rita Davis and natural resources secretary Matt Strickler.

Vanessa Walker Harris, the deputy health secretary, will be elevated to the secretary’s post.