FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2023
Contact: Dianne Hasselman, 202.489.9670
New leadership elected for NAMD Board of Directors
(Washington, D.C. March 10, 2023) –– As Medicaid agencies across the country launch efforts to redetermine eligibility for more than 90 million Americans, the membership of the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) has elected a new slate of leaders to serve on its Board of Directors.
NAMD is a professional community of state leaders who provide health insurance to more than 80 million individuals and families through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. NAMD elevates thought leadership on core and emerging policy matters, amplifies the experience and expertise of Medicaid and CHIP directors, supports state programs in continuous improvement and innovation, and optimizes federal-state partnerships to help millions live their healthiest lives. The association’s Board of Directors guides all of the association’s work and represents the perspective of Medicaid programs with Congress and the Administration. New board leadership will begin their service on April 1. You can find the full list of new Board Members here.
“At this critical time for the future of Medicaid and the health of millions of Americans, I’m honored to represent my 55 colleagues from across the country and territories,” said Cindy Beane, Commissioner of the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources and the rising Board President. “Each one of us is committed to the health of the people we serve as well as the health of the Medicaid program.”
Beane, who is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a graduate of the Medicaid Leadership Institute, has extensive experience as one of the longest-serving current Medicaid directors. She is a nationally recognized leader in development and implementation of mental health and home and community-based services. Under Beane’s leadership, West Virginia was the first state in the nation to obtain approval for coverage of Neonatal Abstinence Centers and was also a vanguard state in gaining approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a major substance use disorder waiver. Related, she has implemented health homes to improve quality outcomes for members with chronic conditions including diabetes and bipolar disorder, expanded managed care to carve in behavioral health, and has received national recognition for developing innovative care coordination, including braided funding, for children in foster care.
The NAMD Board, which includes representation from regions across the U.S. and its territories, elects new leadership annually. This leadership change is happening at a time when all Medicaid programs are poised to undertake the unprecedented effort of transitioning from COVID-19 public health emergency requirements that required Medicaid programs to maintain the eligiblity of all people who became eligible for Medicaid to resume historically typical redetermination processes – a process that is being called “unwinding”.
“It’s a big job to help lead this organization in this current environment,” said Lynnette Rhodes, the Executive Director of Medical Assistance Plans for the Georgia Department of Community Health and incoming Board President-Elect (vice-chair). “My goal is to provide my perspective, insight and advice on emerging issues to help advance the vision and mission of NAMD. We will continue to keep our communities’ health at heart with every decision we make, and we will forge a path that keeps Medicaid a vital and essential health insurance program.”
Rhodes is an attorney by training and worked as a public defender prior to joining the Georgia Department of Community Health in 2005 as the legal services officer. In her current role, Rhodes oversees all Medicaid and CHIP operations, including policy development, performance and care management, eligibility and enrollment, and service delivery and administration. She is also responsible for the development and implementation of new initiatives including Georgia’s Pathways to Coverage 1115 Demonstration Waiver.
“I couldn’t be more excited to serve under the leadership of these two accomplished and dynamic women. As Medicaid programs nationwide navigate out of the acute phases of the pandemic, launch the process of unwinding, and lift their gaze to Medicaid’s next stage of development and innovation, their thoughtful approach to representing Medicaid on the national stage will be critical to maintaining its foundational role in providing comprehensive and high quality health insurance for millions of people,” said Kate McEvoy, NAMD’s Executive Director.
About the National Association of Medicaid Directors
NAMD is a professional community of state leaders who provide health insurance to more than 80 million individuals and families through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. NAMD elevates thought leadership on core and emerging policy matters, amplifies the experience and expertise of Medicaid and CHIP directors, supports state programs in continuous improvement and innovation, and optimizes federal-state partnerships to help millions live their healthiest lives. Learn more at http://www.medicaiddirectors.org and follow NAMD on Twitter @statemedicaid.