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Medboard Matters Podcast

In this episode of MedBoard Matters, we talk with NC DHHS Sec. Kody Kinsley about the state's latest COVID-19 efforts and he shares his vision for life beyond COVID-19. He outlines some of the key health initiatives he plans to focus on for North Carolinians including Medicaid expansion, mental health services, equity and diversity in healthcare, and the power of data analysis to help shape healthcare policy.

Posted March 30, 2022 | 
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Resources mentioned in podcast

NC DHHS Website

Healthy North Carolina 2030

Blood donation eligibility letter to the FDA
Red Cross locations for blood donation

Podcast Transcript

Download Transcript (201KB pdf file)

Hosts and Guests

Jean Fisher Brinkley

Communications Director, North Carolina Medical Board

Jean Fisher Brinkley

Jean Fisher Brinkley is NCMB’s Communications Director, a role that involves developing and overseeing production of communications materials and strategies needed to enhance public and professional awareness and understanding of the Board and its mission. She joined NCMB in 2008, after an 11-year career in newspaper journalism, most of it dedicated to reporting on medicine, health policy and the business aspects of health care.

Brinkley earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Mills College in Oakland, CA, and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Raleigh with her husband and two daughters.

You can reach Jean at

Kody Kinsley

Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

NC DHHS Sec. Kody Kinsley

Kody H. Kinsley was appointed to the role as Secretary for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services by Governor Roy Cooper and took the oath of office January of 2022. He joined DHHS in 2018 and most recently served as the Chief Deputy Secretary for Health at DHHS and Operations Lead for North Carolina’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

Secretary Kinsley and his team work tirelessly to improve the health and well-being of all North Carolinians. DHHS has nearly 18,000 employees and an annual budget of $26 billion with responsibility for the state’s public health, Medicaid program, mental health, disability supports, health service regulation, state operated healthcare facilities, adult and child services, early childhood education, economic and employment services, and more. Secretary Kinsley and his team are focused on responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, and building on the Department’s investments in whole-person health—especially mental health, expanding our efforts to prevent and treat substance use disorder, and supporting a workforce that promotes wellbeing.

Kinsley returned home to North Carolina after serving as the presidentially appointed Assistant Secretary for Management for the United States Department of the Treasury under both the Obama and Trump Administrations. In that role, he functioned as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer with a broad scope of responsibility for the agency, it’s nine bureaus, and 100,000 employees.

His experience spans the public and private sectors, including positions at the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and leading operations for a behavioral health care service provider in western North Carolina. Secretary Kinsley is a Fellow of the Civil Society Fellowship, a partnership of the Anti-Defamation League and the Aspen Institute, and is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Brevard College in Brevard, NC and his Master of Public Policy from the University of California, at Berkeley.