Department of Health and Human Services

Council Member: Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services

Council Designee: Nancy C. Lee, M.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health-Women’s Health and Director, Office of Women’s Health in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Nancy C. Lee, M.D., is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health-Women’s Health and Director, Office of Women’s Health in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Until this appointment, she worked for 7 years as a private consultant in the areas of public health, epidemiology, and cancer control. Prior to that time, she had over 22 years of experience with the CDC, with 10+ of those years at the Division Director or Associate Director level. Her research efforts have focused on cancer screening and early detection, the epidemiology of reproductive system cancers, safety of contraceptive methods, and HIV infection among American women. She has extensive experience in women’s health, cancer prevention and control, data analysis, epidemiology, and surveillance systems. She has published over 95 articles in such journals as JAMA, JNCI, New England Journal of Medicine, Cancer Prevention and Control, and American Journal of Epidemiology.

During her years at CDC, Dr. Lee served as a consultant to the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Food and Drug Administration, the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Institute of Medicine, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Union Against Cancer, and the Agency for International Development. She participated in research projects in Africa, China, Central America, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Lee received a B.A. in mathematics (summa cum laude) from the University of Texas, and an M.D. (cum laude) from Baylor College of Medicine. She completed her residency training at the University of Pennsylvania and is board-certified in internal medicine.

In her most recent role at CDC, as Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) from 1999-2004, Dr. Lee provided overall guidance and vision for DCPC, a division with more than 130 staff and a 2004 budget of $280 million. She left that position in March, 2004 to work as a private consultant. In that capacity, she has consulted with a variety of organizations, including CDC, ACS, WHO, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, and the law firm of Watson & Renner.

Council Designee: Frances E. Ashe-Goins, MPH, Acting Director, Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Frances E. Ashe-Goins is the Acting Director for the HHS Office on Women’s Health (OWH). Frances is a health administrator, educator, author and nurse, received her MPH in Health Education from the University of South Carolina in 1980. 

In her role at OWH, Ms. Ashe-Goins is responsible for the development, initiation and implementation of OWH programs and policies in partnership with other federal agencies, national and local health organizations and leaders committed to advance women’s health with specific concentration on HIV/AIDS, violence against women , lupus, diabetes, organ/tissue donation, kidney disease, health promotion and disease prevention for women and girls. She initiated the formation of key national advisory panels for  women’s health, the Collaborative Workgroup for Women and HIV/AIDS, the Lupus Program Workgroup, National Nurses and Social Work working groups on Violence Against Women (VAW). She has spearheaded the creation of many innovative initiatives to address women’s health issues including the Minority Women’s Health Summits, National and State Summits on Young Women’s Health the National Capitol Hill Town Hall Meeting on Lupus and the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  She is the lead for the HHS National Lupus Awareness Campaign.

Council Designee: Dora L. Hughes, M.D., M.P.H., FACP, Counselor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Dora Hughes is the Counselor for Science and Public Health to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to joining the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Hughes advised then Senator Barack Obama on a broad range of health issues and helped to develop his national policy and legislative agenda.

She previously served as Deputy Director for Health for Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in the United States Senate. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Dr. Hughes served as Senior Program Officer at The Commonwealth Fund, a national health foundation in New York City.

Dr. Hughes completed medical school at Vanderbilt University and internal medicine residency at Brigham & Women's Hospital. She then completed the Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy, earning a Master of Public Health degree at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Hughes is board-certified in internal medicine.

Council Designee: J. Nadine Gracia, M.D., MSCE, White House Fellow, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. J. Nadine Gracia is the Chief Medical Officer in the Office of Public Health and Science at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  A board-certified pediatrician and epidemiologist, Dr. Gracia previously was a 2008-2009 White House Fellow, where she worked at HHS on projects including the White House Council on Women and Girls, global health, and climate change.  Prior to the White House Fellowship, Dr. Gracia was a Clinical Instructor and General Pediatrics Research Fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and received a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania.  Her research addressed community-level risk factors for violence and the evaluation of neighborhood interventions to reduce violence.

Dr. Gracia earned her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  She then completed pediatrics residency and served as Chief Pediatrics Resident at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  Dr. Gracia earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in French at Stanford University and speaks French and Haitian Creole.

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