July 24, 2019 | Press Release


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

Hamilton, NJ, July 24, 2019 – The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) today announced that six Medicaid directors — from Maine, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and the U.S. Virgin Islands — have been competitively selected to participate as fellows in the 2020 class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute (MLI). CHCS directs this Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded initiative, which offers a unique opportunity for Medicaid directors and their key staff from across the country to develop the skills and expertise necessary to improve their Medicaid programs and impact health outcomes.

“Medicaid directors oversee the delivery of vital health care services for nearly a quarter of the U.S. population, including individuals who are most vulnerable to social and economic factors that negatively impact health,” said Donald Schwarz, senior vice president, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Our investment in leadership development of these state officials helps promote innovative thinking to strengthen health equity, person-centered care, and cross-sector collaboration, all fundamental components of building a culture of health.”

Medicaid directors chosen to participate in the MLI Class of 2020 are:

  • Michelle Probert, Maine
  • Suzanne Bierman, Nevada
  • Maureen Corcoran, Ohio
  • Lori Coyner, Oregon
  • Gabe Roberts, Tennessee
  • Gary Smith, U.S. Virgin Islands

This new class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute marks the ninth group of Medicaid directors chosen for this prestigious executive training opportunity. With this next class, 53 directors in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have participated in the program since 2009. It is directed by Mark Larson, senior vice president at CHCS, former Medicaid director, and Class of 2014 MLI Fellow.

“Medicaid directors are uniquely positioned to drive positive change across our health care systems,” said Mr. Larson. “We are excited to support this year’s class of six dedicated Medicaid leaders in their efforts to maximize the quality and impact of state programs that are so critical to the well-being of millions of people in America.”

“The National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) has been honored to work with MLI since 2009 to invest in state leaders who are integral to the health of the nation,” said Kate McEvoy, NAMD Board president, director of the Division of Health Services at the Connecticut Department of Social Services, and Class of 2016 MLI Fellow. “Many of those in NAMD leadership roles, myself included, are proud to be MLI alumni and tremendously value both the spot-on skills development as well as the enduring relationships fostered through MLI. We look forward to working with this next class of Fellows.”

During the 10-month-long program, fellows will gain skills in key areas, including fostering delivery system innovation, leading effective multi-sector collaboration, engaging key stakeholders, communicating the impact of their programs, and developing leaders of the future. 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 45 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

About the Center for Health Care Strategies

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a nonprofit policy center dedicated to improving the health of low-income Americans. It works with state and federal agencies, health plans, providers, and community-based organizations to develop innovative programs that better serve beneficiaries of publicly financed care, especially those with complex, high‐cost needs. Learn more at www.chcs.org.