- Associated Press - Friday, March 13, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Devils Lake native Mary Wakefield has been named acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The position makes Wakefield second in command at the federal agency that oversees health care, health research, disease control, children and families, and many other divisions.

Wakefield had served as administrator of the department’s Health Resources and Services Administration since February 2009. She also has served as an administrator at the University of North Dakota medical school and as chief of staff for former U.S. Sens. Kent Conrad and Quentin Burdick.

Current U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says Wakefield is a leader in improving rural health care and will bring “North Dakota sensibility” to the secretary’s office.

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