New York Medicaid Director Chosen for National Leadership Panel

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 25, 2010) - New York State Medicaid Director Donna Frescatore has been chosen to participate in the 2011 class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Ms. Frescatore was selected as a fellow, along with Medicaid directors from Arizona, Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, to participate in this executive leadership program administered by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS).

"Medicaid plays a huge, often underappreciated role in the U.S. health care system. At a time when national health care reform implementation will greatly affect their programs and responsibilities, these six remarkable leaders form an exceptionally talented class for the Medicaid Leadership Institute," said Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who chairs the program's national advisory committee. "These directors are well positioned to blaze a trail for their states and the nation in achieving better quality care for every taxpayer dollar invested in publicly financed health care."

The Medical Institute Leadership Program was created to bring together an elite group of leaders in the field of Medicaid and to better assist them in administering their programs, using their unique experiences to strategize and find innovative solutions to help them better serve their clients.

New York State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., said, "I thank the Center for Health Care Strategies for choosing Donna Frescatore as a Fellow in the Leadership Program. Donna will bring a depth of knowledge, superb skills and great intellect to her work."

Ms. Frescatore administers public health insurance programs for New Yorkers. Medicaid and Family Health Plus serve 4.5 million people, Child Health Plus serves 400,000 children under the age of 19, and the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program provides 300,000 New Yorkers with prescription drug coverage.

The Medicaid Institute curriculum is designed to increase the Fellows' knowledge, technical skills, strategic thinking, problem solving, and their individual leadership skills. The year-long program will focus on economics and policy, data and analytics, and leadership. The program is structured to help the Fellows maximize the shrinking public dollars allocated by federal and state governments to administer health programs for uninsured adults, children, and families with limited incomes.

"Each of these six 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 who are passionate about maximizing the value of their programs for millions of beneficiaries," said Melanie Bella, CHCS Senior Vice President. "They will bring a diverse array of experiences to the Institute and will collectively spur each other to take full advantage of the opportunities for leadership presented by health care reform."