President Obama on Wednesday announced plans to nominate a former Virginia Health and Human Resources secretary to what was described as a “key administration post.”

Marilyn B. Tavenner would become administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, within the Department of Health and Human Services.

The current administrator Don Berwick has stepped down from his position, effective next Friday, according to an e-mail sent to agency staff this morning.

Tavenner has served as principal deputy administrator there since February 2010 and as acting administrator from February to July 2010.  She was Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources under Gov. Tim Kaine.

“She served in my administration with dedication during a very challenging time,” Kaine said in prepared statement. “Her private sector expertise helped her play an instrumental role in slashing Virginia’s infant mortality rate, transforming our foster care system and helping us ban smoking in state buildings, restaurants and bars. And, in a time of declining state revenues and a struggling economy, she helped reduce Medicaid costs in smart ways through program improvements, focus on preventive care and creative use of technology.”

Before entering government service, Tavenner spent nearly 20 years in nursing, three years as a hospital CEO and 10 years in senior executive-level positions for Hospital Corporation of America.

For more on Berwick’s resignation and Tavenner’s nomination:

CMS administrator Don Berwick steps down

Republicans hail news of Berwick resignation