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More leadership changes at state Department of Health and Human Services

When state lawmakers get ready to tackle Medicaid reform this year, they’ll be working with a new state Medicaid Director.

DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos announced Thursday that Robin Gary Cummings will step down from the post in June to become the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.RichardandCummings2

Dr. Cummings,  who assumed the duties of  North Carolina’s Medicaid director just 13 months ago, said he’s looking forward to changing directions to focus his attention on higher education.

“It’s the highest position I can go home to,” said Cummings. “Serving under the leadership of Secretary Wos as the state’s Medicaid Director has been an honor and one of the most valuable experiences of my career.

“This has given me a better understanding of our citizens’ needs and has prepared me to be an effective leader in my next role as the chancellor of UNC-Pembroke.”

Taking over as the state’s new Medicaid director will be Dave Richard, Deputy Secretary of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Services.

From DHHS’ media advisory:

Richard has extensive experience with the Medicaid program throughout his 33-year career. In his work with The Arc, he was involved in advocacy and policy development related to the Medicaid program at the state and national level. In his tenure as executive director of The Arc of North Carolina, he led The Arc’s effort to become a provider under the Medicaid program and provided leadership for its successful programs.

Since joining DHHS as director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services and in his current role as Deputy Secretary, he has been directly involved with the oversight of the Local Management Entities and Managed Care Organizations (LME-MCO) system, which is responsible for more than $2 billion of Medicaid funding in a managed care delivery system.

Richard will become North Carolina’s third Medicaid director since January of 2013.  Progressive Pulse readers may recall the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) initially brought in Carol Steckel from Louisiana to manage the Medicaid program.

Steckel resigned from the post eight months later to take a position with WellCare Health Plans in Tampa, Florida.

Cummings’ last day on the job is June 5.

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