Statement on the Passing of Margaret Heckler

By Louis W. Sullivan, M.D.,
Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1989-1993

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Secretary Margaret Heckler, who contributed so much to the nation.

Among her notable achievements during her tenure was the issuance of the Heckler Report,“Black and Minority Health” in August 1985.

This report provided the basis for the establishment of the Office of Minority Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human services.

During my tenure as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (1989-1993) we used the findings and recommendations of this Report  to bring more women and minorities to senior positions within the Department, including Director of the National Institutes of Health (Dr. Bernadine Healy), the first woman and first minority U.S. Surgeon General (Dr. Antonia Novello), the first minority Commissioner of Social Security (Gwendolyn King), and the first minority Administrator for the Heath Care Financing Administration (HCFA—now CMS) (William Toby).

The contributions of Secretary Heckler are a benefit to us today and will continue into the future.