Mark Childress, who most recently was chief of staff at HHS, has been named a senior adviser for health reform on the powerful Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Childress was a member of President Obamas transition team and an adviser to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. In February, Daschle took his name out of consideration for the top HHS post, but not before he started to assemble a staff of several former advisers and aides.
Chaired by ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), the HELP committee has met with a number of provider and business groups to help shape legislation that is expected to be a main component of a broader effort to reshape the U.S. healthcare system. Over the years, I have come to respect Marks sharp mind and political expertise, Kennedy said in a written statement. Laura Petrou, also a longtime Daschle aide, will replace Childress at HHS.