NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – After years of guiding New Mexico through its response to the COVID-19 virus, Dr. David Scrase has retired from his top leadership role in state government. February 24 marked Scrase’s last day leading the New Mexico Human Services Department.

Through much of 2020 and 2021, Scrase was a household name for most New Mexicans. Alongside the Governor, hundreds of thousands of people would tune in to weekly news conferences about the virus, offering insight on how each public health order would play out.

As the New Mexico Human Services Department secretary from 2019 through early 2023, and the state’s Department of Health secretary from July 2021 until January 2023, Scrase had a significant role in determining how New Mexico would address COVID. Meanwhile, Dr. Scrase also continued to see medical patients as a practicing geriatrician through his entire time in the Governor’s cabinet.

This week on KRQE News 13’s “New Mexico News Podcast,” Chris McKee and Gabrielle Burkhart talk with Dr. Scrase in an extended interview about his role during some of the most visible years of state government in a generation. How does he feel about the state’s pandemic response? Is there anything he regrets or would have done differently? What made him want to retire? And what’s next? Those questions and more are answered on this week’s episode.

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Download new episodes of the New Mexico News Podcast every Tuesday, starting around 5:30 a.m., Mountain time. Episodes are available on most podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcherand Podbean among many others.

Having trouble finding the show? Try searching your favorite podcast player with the term “KRQE” or “New Mexico News Podcast” (without the quotes). You can also use the links above to find the podcast on each respective service, or listen to the audio player at the top of this post.

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion as to who should be interviewed on the podcast, let us know! Email the hosts at or