JudyAnn Bigby, MD


Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, oversees 17 state agencies and serves in the Cabinet of Governor Deval Patrick. Her broad range of experience — as a primary care physician, professor, researcher and health policy expert — gives her unique insights into how the state can best serve the people of the Commonwealth.

One of Secretary Bigby’s top priorities is ensuring the state delivers high-quality and accessible services to Massachusetts residents. Some of the program areas she oversees relate to health care, including the state’s Medicaid program; housing; child welfare; public health; disabilities; veterans affairs; and elder affairs. Since her appointment, Secretary Bigby has successfully implemented many aspects of Massachusetts’ highly successful health care reform law. She championed the creation of the Office of the Child Advocate to improve the state’s child welfare system, and the state has adopted its first Olmstead Plan to address the long-term needs of elders and persons with disabilities in community settings. Secretary Bigby also chairs the Health Care Quality and Cost Council, which establishes statewide measures to improve quality, contain costs and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

Until her appointment, Dr. Bigby was the Medical Director of Community Health Programs at Brigham & Women's Hospital. She was also an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the School’s Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. In this role, Dr. Bigby focused on the health care issues affecting low-income and minority women.

From 1996-2007, Dr. Bigby served on the Boston Public Health Commission. She has also served on numerous boards, including the Women’s Union and the Medical Foundation. She was a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Assuring the Health of the Public in the 21st Century and the Minority Women’s Health Panel of Experts for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. She was President of the Society of General Internal Medicine, the only national organization representing primary care internal medicine doctors, from 2003 to 2004.

Secretary Bigby has published a number of studies and participated in conferences and forums across the country related to health care disparities and the needs of vulnerable populations. She also edited Cross-Cultural Medicine, a book that explores how health issues present themselves within different racial-ethnic-cultural populations.

Dr. Bigby holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MD from Harvard Medical School. She lives in Jamaica Plain.