VCU Woman Changing the Face of Health Sciences
Marilyn B. Tavenner
Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Commonwealth of Virginia
Marilyn Tavenner was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Resources by Governor Kaine in January of 2006. As Secretary of Health and Human Resources, she oversees 12 agencies, employing over 18,000 people, including the Departments of Health, Mental Health, Social Services, Health Professions and Medical Assistance Services.
Prior to her appointment, Marilyn spent the previous 25 years working for the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). She began her career as a Staff Nurse and steadily rose through the ranks; becoming CEO of Richmond, VA based Johnston-Willis Hospital in April of 1993 and finishing out her service to HCA as President of Outpatient Services, a national position spearheaded by Ms. Tavenner.
As an active community member and healthcare advocate, Marilyn has served on the Board of several organizations including the American Hospital Association, Meals on Wheels, United Way, Greater Richmond Partnership, and the YMCA. She also served as Past President of both the Virginia Hospital Association and the Chesterfield Business Council. Ms. Tavenner was a recipient of the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Star Alumni Award and is a current Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
A native of Virginia, Marilyn was born in Martinsville and received her diploma in Nursing from Roanoke Memorial Hospital. She later earned both her degree in Nursing and a Masters in Health Administration from the Virginia Commonwealth University.
Ms. Tavenner is married to Robert “Bob” Tavenner, a Captain with the Virginia State Police. They have three children.
More About Secretary Tavenner
- Tavenner swaps private sector for public service / Former HCA executive picked for health and human resources post
- First Woman Appointed As Virginia Finance Chief
- Marilyn B. Tavenner (MHA '89) Named Department's 2005 Outstanding Alumna
Visit the Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources website.