Today, the Louisiana Senate confirmed three appointments of Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) employees to top level positions. Earlier this year, DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert appointed Jeff Reynolds as DHH undersecretary, Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham as Interim Assistant Secretary for the Office of Behavioral Health and Mark Thomas as Interim Assistant Secretary for the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities.
"I applaud the Senate for confirming the appointments of these three highly qualified individuals," said DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert. "All three bring tremendous amounts of expertise, experience and knowledge to the positions. I am confident they will help DHH make the critical decisions necessary to improve Louisiana's health outcomes."
Secretary Kliebert appointed Jeff Reynolds as DHH undersecretary on February 2, 2014, and he assumed the role of undersecretary a month later on March 10, 2014. Prior to becoming undersecretary, Reynolds was Louisiana Medicaid Deputy Director.
Reynolds began his career at the Department in 1990 as an account specialist for the payroll division. He was appointed the Medicaid Deputy Director in May 2011 after 21 years of work as an auditor, account manager and administrator. Reynolds helped lead the transition from the state's antiquated fee-for-service Medicaid model to a system of managed care.
Reynolds earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance at Oklahoma State University. He served on the board of the National Association of State Human Services Finance Officers from 2006 to 2009 and was the board president in 2010.
Assistant Secretary - Office of Behavioral Health
Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham was appointed Interim Assistant Secretary for the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) on October 18, 2013. Dr. Head-Dunham, who served as the Medical Director and Chief of Adult Operations for OBH, assumed the role of Interim Assistant Secretary on October 30, 2013.
Dr. Head-Dunham began her career with DHH in 1990 as Medical Director for the Office of Behavioral Health, formerly the Office of Addictive Disorders. Dr. Head-Dunham's position within OBH, and as the Louisiana Single State Agency (SSA) Director for the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) and as State Mental Health Commissioner of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), has fostered many innovative changes within the new construct of statewide managed behavioral healthcare for the state of Louisiana.
Dr. Head-Dunham completed her Bachelors of Science at Xavier University and her MD at Tulane University School of Medicine. She has double board certifications in Adult Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry, which have advanced the skills, knowledge and application of standards of care in the treatment of co-occurring mental illness and addictive disorders for a broad array of providers and stakeholders, both statewide and nationally.
Assistant Secretary - Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities
Mark Thomas was appointed Interim Assistant Secretary for the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) on October, 18, 2013, and assumed the role on November 2, 2013.
Thomas joined the Department as Executive Director of Community Services for OCDD in 2006 and has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for OCDD since 2009. During his time with DHH, Thomas has played critical roles in transforming waiver services, including through lowering costs in the New Opportunities Waiver and the addition of the Supports Waiver. He helped to oversee the transfer of waiver operations from the Department to the local governing entities throughout the state, increasing local control over essential supports and services. Thomas has been instrumental in the transformation of the Early Steps program from non-compliance with federal regulations into a national model program.
Thomas completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Louisiana State University. He is a graduate of Leadership Ascension and also a graduate of the National Conference of Executives of the ARC Academy. Thomas has held leadership roles in both state and national developmental disability provider and advocacy organizations and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his service.