PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo, today, introduced a new, permanent leadership team for her Health Cabinet and announced that she intends to nominate Eric J. Beane as the next Secretary of the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and Courtney Hawkins to lead the Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS).
"Rhode Islanders deserve and demand high-quality public services. I am confident that the new leadership for our Health Cabinet will ensure better access to care and better outcomes for Rhode Islanders," said Governor Raimondo. "Eric has been a senior member of my team from day one. Earlier this year, he stepped up to the plate and has put UHIP on a path toward stability. I'm also pleased to welcome Courtney to the team. She's a Rhode Island native and brings more than 15 years of experience working with social service agencies and in public policy in our state and others."
Beane has served as Acting DHS Director since January and serves as the head of the UHIP turnaround effort. He will take on the role as Secretary beginning June 1 and will assume the position on a permanent basis pending Senate confirmation. HealthSource RI (HSRI) Director Zach Sherman will take over the day-to-day management of the UHIP turnaround. Through his role at HSRI, Sherman has been a key member of the UHIP leadership team during the turnaround effort. As EOHHS Secretary, Beane will continue to be involved in the UHIP turnaround, but Sherman will serve as the key point person.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to serve Governor Raimondo and the citizens of Rhode Island in this new position," Beane said. "I look forward to continuing to partner with OHHS staff and the administration's leadership as we seek to ensure access to high quality, affordable services that foster the health, safety and independence of all Rhode Islanders."
Hawkins, who currently serves as Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza's Chief Policy Officer, will begin work at DHS on June 12. Prior to working in the Mayor's office, Hawkins served as Senior Vice President at FEGS Health & Human Services, a New York City based human services agency, where she oversaw programs in the areas of youth development, education, foster care, welfare to work, workforce development and immigration assistance.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Raimondo Administration in service of helping others in my home state," Hawkins said. "I plan to bring an efficient, person-centered approach to the Department of Human Services with the goal of making an impact in the lives of those in need of our services."
Anya Rader Wallack, who has served as Acting EOHHS Secretary since February, will return to her position at Brown University's School of Public Health in June.
The new appointments come just two weeks after Governor Raimondo submitted Becky Boss' name to the Senate for confirmation as the permanent Director of the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Development Disabilities and Hospitals. Earlier this year, the Governor appointed Trista Piccola to lead the Department of Children, Youth and Families and named Patrick Tigue as the State's Medicaid Director.