"One of our priorities is fostering innovation in state government. It is widely known that there are several challenges facing BHDDH that are holding us back from providing families with the safe, quality care they deserve," Raimondo said. "Maria has spent her career finding ways to improve services and outcomes for families. She will be an excellent addition to our health and human services team."
"It is great to welcome Maria back to our state as we begin to roll up our sleeves on how to improve our delivery systems across all agencies to make sure we are providing the best care, while reassessing our cost structures and contracts," Elizabeth Roberts, the nominee for the Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. "Maria's dedication to our state's families will be a tremendous asset as we move forward."
"I am excited to return to Rhode Island to take on this opportunity to reimagine the way we deliver care and empower some of our state's most vulnerable residents," Montanaro said. "I look forward to working with the dedicated BHDDH team to make the agency stronger."
Montanaro is leaving her post as the chief executive officer of Magellan Behavioral Care of Iowa, and will be joining BHDDH starting on February 2. During her time with Magellan, she has managed over $330 million in Medicaid services for 450,000 recipients for the state of Iowa.
Montanaro has a track record of successfully leading innovation and transformation. Prior to leaving Rhode Island for Iowa in 2012, she worked as a senior advisor for integrated health management services at Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Rhode Island. She was also the chief executive officer of Thundermist Health Center from 1997 to 2011. At the time, the health center was serving over 38,000 patients across multiple communities statewide. Rebecca Boss will continue to serve as Acting Director of BHDDH until February 2, 2015.
Montanaro has a Masters of Social Work from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.