Funder: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

With more than 90 million individuals enrolled, Medicaid and CHIP serve as the nation’s public health insurance program for children, adults, and seniors with low incomes, and people with disabilities. Medicaid leaders are responsible for administering services to support the health needs of millions of individuals, while balancing other federal and state priorities around fiscal stewardship, quality assurance, stakeholder engagement, and program integrity.

Few opportunities exist, however, to develop the leadership capacity of these senior Medicaid officials who provide long-term continuity for Medicaid programs and serve as the talent pool for future Medicaid directors. The Medicaid Pathways Program (MPP) seeks to fill this void. It supports senior state agency leaders in strengthening the necessary skills to effectively lead a complex organization like Medicaid and achieve key organizational development goals. MPP is designed for Medicaid leaders who are new to their leadership role and/or are interested in advancing to a more senior role in the future, especially individuals with diverse backgrounds, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color, people with disabilities, individuals who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, and people with lived or personal experience with Medicaid or another publicly financed program. The program is led by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

MPP is a nine-month leadership development program for up to 20 competitively selected Medicaid leaders (MPP participants). The objectives of MPP are to: (1) strengthen participants’ skills so they can more effectively lead in a complex organization like Medicaid; (2) facilitate the advancement of senior Medicaid leaders, including creating opportunities to support more diversity in leadership positions to reflect the communities served by Medicaid; and (3) build peer relationships and foster a network of Medicaid leaders for idea sharing, problem-solving, and support. The curriculum focuses on four core components:

  1. A competency-based leadership model: This training includes a focus on inclusive leadership to strengthen leaders’ self-awareness, accountability for their biases, and commitment to empowering others.
  2. Individualized and group leadership coaching: Coaches work with participants to craft an individualized leadership development plan that includes personal development goals, activities to practice skills, and opportunities to apply new skills to the participants’ daily work.
  3. A network of Medicaid and national thought leaders: Participants build relationships with fellow participants and, in doing so, expand their peer network of Medicaid leaders. Participants also learn first-hand from Medicaid leaders and partners on how to address real-world issues pertinent to Medicaid programs.
  4. Application of leadership curriculum: Participants identify areas within their daily work where they can apply the program content to foster their development while also advancing an issue of importance to their Medicaid program and its members.

Program Eligibility

Senior leaders in Medicaid agencies from all states, commonwealths, and territories are eligible to apply. Senior leader refers to deputy- and executive-team level positions (e.g., deputy director, chief financial officer, chief medical officer) and current or rising senior managers (e.g., bureau/section/unit chiefs, policy directors). Medicaid leaders with diverse identities and perspectives, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color, people with disabilities, individuals who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, and especially those with lived or personal experience with Medicaid or another publicly financed program (such as SNAP or TANF), are strongly encouraged to apply. Up to 20 Medicaid leaders will be selected.

How to Apply

To learn more and apply, download the Request for Applications. Optional informational calls will take place on June 23 and July 12, 2023. Dial-in information can be found in the Request for Applications. Applications are closed.

MPP is part of CHCS’ leadership and capacity building programs, a unique series of professional development programs that support state Medicaid directors and their management teams in optimizing the performance of publicly financed care.