AR Briefly

Arkansas DHS official chosen for Medicaid improvement fellowship

By: - August 18, 2022 4:20 pm

Arkansas’ Medicaid director is one of six chosen from around the country to participate in the Medicaid Leadership Institute, a fellowship program that will help improve the state’s Medicaid programs and citizens’ health outcomes, according to a Thursday news release from the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

Dawn Stehle has worked for DHS since 2006 and became the deputy director of health and the state Medicaid director in 2016. She said in the news release that she is “honored” to participate in “an exciting opportunity to further strengthen our Medicaid program.”

The lessons in the 10-month program include “fostering delivery system innovation, leading effective multi-sector collaboration, advancing health equity for Medicaid enrollees, engaging key stakeholders, communicating the impact of their programs, and developing leaders of the future,” according to the news release.

Stehle will continue to work in her current role at DHS during the fellowship, which begins next month and ends in May.

The Medicaid Leadership Institute is run by the Center for Health Care Strategies, a national organization focused on improving outcomes for Medicaid enrollees.

Center Senior Vice President Mark Larson, former Vermont Medicaid director and a 2014 institute fellow, is the current director of the institute.

“Medicaid directors play a critical role in driving positive change across our healthcare system, including addressing the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and achieving health equity for all,” Larson said in the news release.

The Medicaid directors from California, Connecticut, Idaho, South Dakota and Utah were also chosen for the Medicaid Leadership Institute. The six directors are the 12th group chosen for the program, totaling 71 participants from 43 Medicaid agencies since the Institute began in 2009.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a health-focused philanthropic organization, funds the Medicaid Leadership Institute.

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Tess Vrbin
Tess Vrbin

Tess Vrbin came to the Advocate from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where she reported on low-income housing and tenants' rights, and won awards for her coverage of 2021 flooding and tornado damage in rural Arkansas. She previously covered local government for The Commercial Dispatch in Mississippi and state government for the Columbia Daily Tribune in Missouri.