Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky Medicaid Commissioner Selected for Medicaid Leadership Institute

Press Release Date:  Friday, July 05, 2013  
Contact Information:  Media Contact: Jill Midkiff or Gwenda Bond (502) 564-6786, ext. 3465 or 3100  


Will enhance Medicaid commissioners’ ability to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care services

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) July 5, 2013– Governor Steve Beshear announced today that the commissioner of the Kentucky Medicaid program Lawrence Kissner is one of seven Medicaid directors chosen nationally to participate in the Medicaid Leadership Institute. The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) directs this initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), to build the capacity of Medicaid directors to transform their programs into national models for accessible, cost-effective care.

“The Kentucky Medicaid program ensures that our most vulnerable Kentuckians have access to quality health care services,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are proud that Commissioner Kissner has been selected to participate in this prestigious leadership training. The Medicaid Leadership Institute has been helping our country build Medicaid leaders since 2005 and we know that our state will be well represented.”

Kissner was competitively selected to participate in the executive leadership development program along with six additional Medicaid directors: Justin Senior, Florida; Susan Mosier, Kansas; Stephen Fitton, Michigan; Carol Backstrom, Minnesota; Mark Larson, Vermont; and Brett Davis, Wisconsin.

“The quality of leadership provided by state Medicaid directors is increasingly important,” said John Lumpkin, MD, vice president and health care group director at RWJF. “Our investment in the professional development of these state officials recognizes the growing role they play in guiding the health care of millions of Americans.”

The 2014 class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute is the fifth group of Medicaid directors chosen for this prestigious executive training program. Since 2009, directors from 22 states serving nearly 40 million beneficiaries – roughly two-thirds of the nation’s Medicaid population – have participated in the year-long curriculum. The program is managed by CHCS and directed by Carolyn Ingram, senior vice president at CHCS and former New Mexico Medicaid director.

“Each of these seven Medicaid directors is essentially the CEO of one of the largest health insurers in his or her state. We are excited to work with these executives and their senior management teams to maximize the value of their programs for millions of beneficiaries,” said Ms. Ingram. “Commissioner Kissner and the other Medicaid directors chosen bring a diverse array of experiences to the Institute and will spur each other to take full advantage of opportunities to transform the nation’s health care safety net.” 

The 12-month Institute is designed to enhance the strategic thinking, substantive knowledge, individual leadership, and technical skills that directors need to effectively lead and foster innovation in their state Medicaid programs. For more information about the Medicaid Leadership Institute, visit www.medicaidleaders.org.

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About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime.

About the Center for Health Care Strategies
The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a nonprofit health policy resource center dedicated to improving health care access and quality for low-income Americans. CHCS works with state and federal agencies, health plans, providers, and consumer groups to develop innovative programs that better serve people with complex and high-cost health care needs. Its program priorities are: enhancing access to coverage and services; advancing quality and efficiency through delivery system reform; integrating care for people with complex needs; and building Medicaid leadership and capacity.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state's human services and health care programs, including Medicaid, the Department for Community Based Services and the Department for Public Health. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full and part-time employees throughout the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.