In the news: Andrea Gayle-Bennett
State Veterans’ Services Secretary Jon Santiago has appointed Dr. Andrea Gayle-Bennett, a retired brigadier general and a distinguished healthcare professional, as the first-ever deputy secretary of the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services (EOVS).
Joining the Massachusetts National Guard in 1983, Gayle-Bennett rose through the ranks and held such positions as state surgeon, deputy commander and chief physician assistant. In 2019, she earned the rank of brigadier general (MA).
Gayle-Bennett also has a distinguished career in medicine spanning more than three decades, including 37 years as a physician assistant at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston, where she demonstrated exceptional skills delivering comprehensive medical care. She holds a doctorate in medical science from the University of Lynchburg, a master’s of education from Lesley College and a bachelor’s in allied health from Sophie Davies School of Medicine in New York City.
In 2022, the Massachusetts Legislature passed significant legislation reforming veterans’ governance, structure and care at state veterans homes in Holyoke and Chelsea. As part of these reforms, the EOVS was created, with an appointed deputy secretary.
“Dr. Gayle-Bennett’s distinguished career in medicine and military service make her uniquely qualified to take on this important role and support Secretary Santiago and our entire administration in our efforts to advance the health and well-being of Massachusetts’ veterans,” Governor Maura Healey said.
Santiago, a former state representative from the South End, appointed Gayle-Bennett on June 5.
“I have full confidence that she will enhance our efforts in serving the Massachusetts veteran community through her leadership and passion for supporting veterans,” he said.
Gayle-Bennett said she was thankful for the opportunity.
“Sheryl Sandberg, the author of ‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,’ wisely remarked, ‘If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship…get on.’ Drawing inspiration from these words, I am embracing this opportunity with immense gratitude,” she said. “I am thrilled to have the chance to make a positive contribution on behalf of veterans in the Commonwealth and to collaborate with this esteemed team as part of the Healey-Driscoll administration.”