March 27, 2023

Gov.-elect Sanders nominates Kristi Putnam as Secretary of Human Companies

Gov.-elect Sarah Sanders introduced Tuesday (Dec. 27) a number of people who will fill key management roles on the Division of Human Companies (DHS) in her administration, together with her intention to appoint Kristi Putnam as secretary.

Sanders additionally introduced her intention to nominate Mischa Martin as deputy director for Youth and Households, Janet Mann as deputy director of Well being and State Medicaid Director, and Mark White as chief of workers. Putnam will substitute White, who stepped into the position as head of DHS after the resignation of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s secretary for the division, Cindy Gillespie, earlier this 12 months.

Putnam has greater than 20 years of coverage and hands-on expertise in human providers, early childhood providers, training, workforce growth, and well being coverage, together with implementation of Kentucky’s Medicaid transformation and several other different revolutionary statewide coverage and course of initiatives.

In keeping with data launched by Sanders, she has supplied coverage and technique steerage to a number of legislative leaders, together with Home management within the Kentucky Home of Representatives, federal businesses, akin to The Administration for Kids & Households’ Workplace of Household Help, and lots of state Well being & Human Companies businesses.

Putnam served within the Kentucky Cupboard for Well being and Household Companies (CHFS), starting in March 2016 within the baby welfare and household help workplace. After serving with CHFS for 2 years and main Medicaid Part 1115 waiver innovation efforts, she was appointed in Might 2018 to function Deputy Secretary of CHFS, the place she served till December 2019. She assisted in main every day operations for CHFS, a cupboard with greater than 8,000 staff and an working funds of over $14 billion.

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She additionally served because the Youngster Welfare Companies Supervisor, Chief of Group-Primarily based Care, and Statewide Foster Care Licensing Specialist in Florida’s privatized community-based system of foster care and adoption. Her prior expertise in Florida included coverage and legislative growth and implementation within the Division of Training, Division for Kids and Households, the Florida Partnership for Faculty Readiness, and Government Workplace of the Governor.

Most lately, Putnam served because the chief folks officer for AppHarvest, a publicly traded agtech startup in Kentucky.

Kristi Putnam.

“Kristi and I share a imaginative and prescient for daring reforms that help our neighbors in want, look after our most weak, shield youngsters in foster care, and guarantee Arkansans will not be trapped in a lifetime of poverty,” Sanders stated. “With 1000’s of staff working in each county of Arkansas, I wished robust leaders with huge hearts and data of revolutionary initiatives to sort out the difficult points this division faces, which is why I’m thrilled to have Mischa, Janet, and Mark becoming a member of our new Secretary.

“I’m excited concerning the alternative to affix Governor-elect Sanders’ administration and tackle the necessary work of human providers,” Putnam stated. “We’ll shield our fellow residents whereas prioritizing reforms and figuring out efficiencies and taxpayer financial savings, which is what I’ve achieved all through my profession. I strongly imagine that entry and alternative empower folks to reside their finest lives. The Governor-elect has nice plans to unleash alternative for all Arkansans, and I can not wait to get to work alongside her and this group at DHS.”

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The Division of Human Companies oversees Medicaid and its enlargement packages, the Youth and Households division, Growing old, Grownup and Behavioral Companies, and Developmental Disabilities Companies.

Martin is director of the Division of Kids and Household Companies. On this position, she is accountable for the security of kids and youth in Arkansas, baby abuse and neglect prevention, foster care, and adoption packages.

Mann has greater than 20 years of expertise in healthcare and healthcare finance. She has labored in the private and non-private sector for a number of states and purchasers. She has served because the division director for DHS’s Division of Medical Companies overseeing the Medicaid operations earlier than and throughout the starting of the COVID-19 Public Well being Emergency till April 2021. She additionally served as DHS’s chief monetary officer for a 12 months in 2017. As well as, Mann was a deputy administrator for Medicaid in Mississippi throughout Gov. Haley Barbour’s administration, 2006-2010.

White grew to become the secretary of the Arkansas Division of Human Companies in October 2022. Since he first joined DHS in 2013, White has labored in quite a lot of capacities together with work within the Secretary’s Workplace, the Workplace of Chief Counsel, and the Division of Growing old, Grownup, and Behavioral Well being Companies. Previous to turning into secretary, White served as Chief of Workers and Chief Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Officer, the place he represented DHS earlier than the Arkansas Legislature and serves as a major level of contact for legislators, elected officers, lobbyists, and different state businesses.

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Gov.-elect Sanders has appointed 5 different cupboard positions, whereas Putnam is the primary feminine announcement. Sanders has appointed Mike Hagar as Secretary of Public Security; Mike Mills as Secretary of Parks, Heritage and Tourism; Shane Khoury as Secretary of Vitality & Atmosphere; Wes Ward as Secretary of Agriculture; and Hugh McDonald as Secretary of Commerce.