Funder: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

January 2020 | Podcast


Holding a leadership role in a Medicaid agency means that the days are busy and often pulled in multiple directions. In this dynamic environment, it can be challenging to find the time to focus on staff, their bandwidth, and their understanding of the agency’s vision. Making a commitment to staff morale and finding time for periodic check-ins is a key component of the leadership role.

In this Medicaid Leadership Exchange podcast, three individuals from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services — Curtis Cunningham, assistant administrator of long-term care benefits and programs; Kevin Coughlin, policy initiatives advisor; and Molly Bohnsack, project portfolio manager — discuss how they have created an environment that values transparency and staff well-being. Hear the mechanisms they use to engage staff, including transparent communications, “Coffee with Curtis”, and using non-managerial staff to host exit interviews. The conversation is moderated by Gretchen Hammer, former Colorado Medicaid director and senior strategic advisor for the National Association of Medicaid Directors, and 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:

Mark Larson, former Vermont Medicaid director and senior vice president of leadership and capacity building, Center for Health Care StrategiesGretchen Hammer, MPH, former Colorado Medicaid director and senior strategic advisor, National Association of Medicaid Directors
Kevin Coughlin, policy initiatives advisor, Wisconsin Department of Health ServicesCurtis Cunningham, assistant administrator of long-term care benefits and programs, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Molly Bohnsack, project portfolio manager, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Support for this podcast was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.