Washington, DC ̶ As David Blumenthal said recently, for an organization to remain vigorous and innovative, there must be periodic change in leadership. It is in that spirit that I have made the decision to step down as Executive Director of NAMD. It is my goal that this transition will ensure the organization remains vigorous, innovative, and relevant for the future.
In 2011, the Executive Committee of the state Medicaid Directors entrusted me with the responsibility of building an association focused solely on supporting state Medicaid leaders and on making their voice relevant in DC. It was the perfect next step for me personally, having spent 12 years working for the National Governors Association, and the prior five years working for the Medicaid Directors as part of the American Public Human Services Association. More importantly, it was an honor to champion a program with the importance and impact of Medicaid. We all knew the critical nature of Medicaid to our nation’s health care ecosystem, but the pandemic showed us once again that its role as “first responder” is equally as essential.
It was with this deeply understood sense of the program that have spent the last decade building this organization. I couldn’t be prouder of what our team has accomplished in that time. NAMD has achieved everything that we set out to do more than a decade ago. We are 100 percent committed to the vision of strengthening and supporting the great work of Medicaid Directors and their teams across the nation. We are relevant in conversations in Congress and have forged a true equity partnership with CMCS that greatly benefits the administration of the program. We have joined with other key partners to significantly grow leadership development opportunities for Directors and their teams.
While change can be hard and it can be scary, I would never consider leaving if I didn’t have 100 percent confidence in the team at NAMD to not only continue the great work of the association, but to continue to innovate and help ensure that Medicaid Directors are supported not just today but for the future, whatever that holds. The organization is financially strong and continues to grow and evolve its offerings and supports to our members. The NAMD staff has an incredible mix of experience and longevity, with our senior management team having more than 30 years of service to NAMD combined! With a new cadre of rising stars, NAMD is in position to remain strong for many years to come.
NAMD’s Board Leadership, under the guidance of President Allison Taylor, President-elect Cindy Beane, and Immediate Past President Jami Snyder, has an opportunity now to help choose the visionary leader who can captain the ship for its next ten years.
My last day at NAMD will be August 1st, at which point Dianne Hasselman, who has been so instrumental in ensuring the organization’s growth and effectiveness over the past five years will take on the role of Interim Executive Director until the Board completes its search for the next permanent leader.
I have not made a formal decision on my next steps, but it will definitely be in the Medicaid world, and I can’t wait to see how the organization continues to grow and thrive.
The reality remains that America and American’s need a healthy and innovate Medicaid program to continue to fulfill its mission. It is a national imperative and a moral calling. And that strong program can only exist when the voice of Medicaid Directors and their staffs lead the way.
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