Cabinet Secretary for Department of Health
Kathy Kunkel has worked seven years across different stints at the state Department of Health, the most recent four as deputy director, overseeing the bureau of behavioral supports, regional offices, litigation management and supported employment. Kunkel developed a fair hearings bureau, and, as an attorney with a law degree from the University of New Mexico, she provided litigation support, developing legal strategy with the department and working on issues related to various settlements. Kunkel also created the community inclusion manager position, developing and supervising the coordinators and worked on promoting employment of young adults. In prior stints at the department, Kunkel was both assistant general counsel and general counsel; she worked as an assistant attorney general from 2004-2007, focusing on administrative disciplinary hearings and rulemaking hearings as well as legislative analysis. Kunkel worked eight years at the UNM Health Science Center, beginning as a pediatric social worker and ultimately becoming assistant director of care management services. Kunkel has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of Mt. St. Joseph, as it was formerly called, and a master’s in social work from Michigan State University.
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