Funder: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

June 2021 | Podcast


People who live in rural areas often experience health disparities caused by barriers to health care, such as lack of transportation, a shortage of providers, and closures of rural hospitals. In this episode of the Medicaid Leadership Exchange podcast, Michelle Probert, director at the Office of MaineCare Services, and Stephanie Stephens, associate commissioner of the Medicaid/CHIP Division at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, explore the challenges that Maine and Texas residents face accessing Medicaid services in rural areas. They also discuss opportunities for Medicaid to foster community partnerships to improve access to care and how telehealth flexibilities are responding to the needs of rural residents.

This episode is cohosted by Gretchen Hammer, senior strategic advisor, and Hilary Kennedy, former program director for Medicaid leadership at the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD). It also includes insights from Mark Larson, former Vermont Medicaid director and senior vice president of leadership and capacity building at the Center for Health Care Strategies.


Medicaid Leadership Exchange is a podcast series exploring priority topics for Medicaid leaders developed in partnership with the National Association of Medicaid Directors and the Center for Health Care Strategies through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Visit Medicaid Leadership Exchange for additional episodes.

Featured in this episode:

Michelle Probert, director, Office of MaineCare Services Stephanie Stephens, associate commissioner, Medicaid/CHIP Division, Medical and Social Services, State of Texas, Health and Human Services Commission