Mary Wakefield

Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., RN, F.A.A.N, is the Director of the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota's School of Medicine and Health Services. Previously, she was Professor and Director of the Center for Health Policy at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.

From January 1993-January 1996, Dr. Wakefield was the Chief of Staff for United States Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). From 1987 until 1992, Dr. Wakefield served as Legislative Assistant and Chief of Staff to Senator Quentin Burdick (D-ND).

From 1987 - 1992 Dr. Wakefield co-chaired the Senate Rural Health Caucus Staff Organization. In this capacity, she was directly involved with a wide range of rural health policy issues including recruitment and retention of health care providers, reimbursement, emergency services, telemedicine, rural research, interdisciplinary education, among others.

Dr. Wakefield serves on many health related advisory boards in the private sector and from March 1997 through March 1998 she was on President Clinton's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. In September 1998 she was appointed to the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Quality of Health Care in America. In 1999, Dr. Wakefield was appointed by the U.S. Comptroller General to a three-year term on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which is responsible for advising the U.S. Congress on the Medicare program. In June 1999, she was appointed to the Advisory Commission to the Office of Rural Health Policy, Department of Health and Human Services. On October 1, 2000, Dr. Wakefield was appointed to a three-year term to serve on the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality of the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In January 2002, she was appointed as co-chair of the Institute of Medicine's Health Professions Education Summit.

Dr. Wakefield has presented nationally and internationally on public policy and strategies to influence the policymaking and political process. She has authored many articles and columns on health policy and she is on the editorial board of a number of professional journals. Dr. Wakefield received her Master of Science in Nursing and her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Mary at Bismarck, ND. She was a Kodak Fellow in the Program for Senior Managers in Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.