August 29, 2017 | Press Release


National initiative enhances the leadership capacity of Medicaid directors to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care services.

Hamilton, NJ, August 29, 2017 – The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) today announced that Medicaid directors from six states — Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia — have been competitively selected to participate as fellows in the 2018 class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute. CHCS directs this Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded initiative, which offers a unique opportunity for Medicaid directors from states across the political spectrum to develop the skills and expertise necessary to improve their Medicaid programs in an ever-changing policy and financing environment.

“Medicaid directors oversee the delivery of vital health care services for nearly a quarter of the U.S. population,” said John Lumpkin, MD, MPH, senior vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Our investment in leadership development for these state officials acknowledges the important role they play in building a Culture of Health for everyone in America — particularly individuals who are most vulnerable to social and economic factors that negatively impact health.”

Medicaid directors chosen to participate in the leadership development program are:

  • Beth Kidder, Florida
  • Allison Taylor, Indiana
  • Marie Zimmerman, Minnesota
  • Wendy Long, Tennessee
  • Jami Snyder, Texas
  • Cynthia Beane, West Virginia

The 2018 class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute marks the seventh group of Medicaid directors chosen for this prestigious executive training opportunity. With this next class, 42 directors from 33 states and the District of Columbia have participated in the program since 2009. It is directed by Mark Larson, vice president at CHCS, former Medicaid director, and Class of 2014 MLI Fellow.

“Medicaid directors are essentially health plan CEOs — executives at the helm of typically the largest insurer in his or her state,” said Mr. Larson. “We are excited to support this year’s class of dedicated leaders from six states in their efforts to maximize the quality and cost-effectiveness of state programs that are so critical to the well-being of millions of Americans.”

During the 10-month-long program, fellows participate in in-person training sessions, site visits, and individualized coaching as well as networking opportunities with peers, thought leaders, and policymakers. For more information about the Medicaid Leadership Institute, visit www.chcs.org/medicaid-leadership.

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About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

About the Center for Health Care Strategies

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a nonprofit policy center committed to improving health care quality for low-income Americans. CHCS works with state and federal agencies, health plans, providers, and consumer groups to develop innovative programs that better serve people with complex and high-cost health care needs. Learn more at www.chcs.org.