Six Medicaid Directors Selected as Fellows in the 2011 Class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute

July 14, 2010

The future presents significant challenges and opportunities for Medicaid directors, who can leverage their purchasing power to influence improvements in health care quality, delivery and value.

Six Medicaid directors have been chosen to participate as fellows in the 2011 class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supports this initiative to enhance the leadership capacity of Medicaid directors so their programs can serve as national models for high-quality, cost-effective care.

According to the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), by 2014, Medicaid will become the largest healthcare purchaser in the nation, with the addition of 16 million to 20 million new beneficiaries. That will present significant challenges and opportunities for Medicaid directors, who can leverage their purchasing power to influence improvements in healthcare quality, delivery and value.

“Each Medicaid director is essentially the CEO of one of the largest health insurance companies in his or her state,” says Melanie Bella, senior vice president at CHCS and director of the Medicaid Leadership Institute. “And with health reform, the program will expand even more, to serve as many as one quarter of all Americans. “As such, the biggest challenge facing directors is to maximize opportunities to expand access, improve quality and control costs, particularly for the program’s highest-need and highest-cost patient subsets.”  
Medicaid directors competitively selected to participate in the executive leadership development program are:

  • Thomas Betlach, Arizona

  • Theresa Eagleson, Illinois

  • Donna Frescatore, New York

  • Darin Gordon, Tennessee

  • Judy Mohr Peterson, Oregon

  • Michael Nardone, Pennsylvania