Cabinet for Health and Family Services announces key leadership appointments

Carol H. Steckel

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) announced the following key leadership positions in various departments today.

Carol H. Steckel, MPH, is the new Commissioner for the Department for Medicaid Services (DMS). Steckel is a Medicaid and managed care expert with more than two decades of experience transforming healthcare delivery systems in several states. Most recently, Steckel served the last five years as senior director of Alliance Development for WellCare Health Plans, where she led Medicaid policy development to expand WellCare’s national Medicaid footprint.

Previously, in North Carolina, Steckel guided healthcare reform as the director of Medicaid Administration, which had a $13 billion budget.  As the Director of Healthcare Innovation in Louisiana, Steckel orchestrated Louisiana’s response to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Steckel also served as Medicaid Commissioner in Alabama, where she administered a $5 billion budget and managed a staff of 600.

As Medicaid Commissioner in the Commonwealth, Steckel will oversee an $11 billion annual budget in a program that provides healthcare coverage to 1.4 million Kentuckians.

Jill Hunter, who has been serving in the Commissioner role for the Department for Medicaid Services since the retirement of Commissioner Steve Miller, will become senior deputy commissioner. Hunter’s new role will focus on leading the redesign of home and community-based services waiver programs, commonly known as the 1915c waivers. Hunter has served more than 16 years in state government and over 22 years in the healthcare field. She previously served as Medicaid’s director of healthcare facilities management, specializing in the area of reimbursement and provider and enrollee services. Additionally, Hunter worked in the Personnel Cabinet as Deputy Executive Director for the Office of Public Employee Health Insurance.

“I am excited to announce this leadership team in the Department for Medicaid Services,” said CHFS Secretary Adam Meier. “Carol is a nationally known Medicaid leader and will bring additional expertise to the Agency. Jill did an outstanding job serving as Commissioner the last several months, helping DMS navigate through one of its most challenging times. Jill’s passion and understanding of the vulnerable populations served by the 1915c waivers is unmatched, and we are so fortunate to be able to return her focus to this important initiative, while also continuing to receive her assistance managing other parts of this complex organization.”

Additionally, the Cabinet has hired David Gray as director of Provider Relations. Gray has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and is a licensed nursing home administrator. His background includes serving as President and Chief Executive Officer at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown, Ky., and as President of Baptist Health Louisville. As Director of Provider Relations, Gray will bring provider perspective and insight to contracted services, provide outreach and education to providers about issues and policies that affect them, and serve as the initial point of contact for providers in interactions with the Cabinet. Gray also will focus on Red Tape Reduction efforts by identifying ways to streamline regulations or parts of regulations that are outdated or not needed.

“The appointments we are making today will positively impact health outcomes for years,” concluded Secretary Meier. “Kentucky has been recognized in recent months for its innovation in health and human services policy.  As a result, we are fortunate to have many qualified professionals willing to join our team to serve in key leadership roles.”

Appointments effective September 4, 2018.

Additionally, Kathleen Hines has been appointed as executive advisor within the Office of Health Data and Analytics to serve as chief privacy officer for the Cabinet. Within the Department for Public Health, Kelly Alexander has been appointed as executive advisor to serve as a liaison with stakeholders and the public health community, and Devon McFadden has been appointed as director of the Division of Prevention and Quality Improvement. In the Office of Autism, Jonathan “Tal” Curry has been appointed as executive director.

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