April 16, 2024

State of Alabama
Press Release: Medicaid

Alabama Medicaid Commissioner Named to NAMD Board of Directors

The membership of the National Association of Medicaid Directors has selected a new slate of leaders to serve on its Board of Directors as Medicaid agencies across the states and territories continue to carry out the critical work of conducting eligibility redeterminations for more than 80 million Americans.

The newly-elected board represents a broad array of state Medicaid programs reflecting the diversity of program structures and offerings tailored to each state’s need. Long a hallmark of the Medicaid program, this diversity is a strength of the board, which serves to amplify the voice and views of Medicaid leaders and their staff. Incoming board leadership includes health care leaders from Kentucky, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Virginia, Iowa, Idaho, Alabama, Nevada, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire and the US Virgin Islands.

“As each of our programs have moved through the challenging work of unwinding, I’ve been struck time and again by how this work further highlights the critical nature of the Medicaid program for millions of Americans,” said Lisa Lee, Commissioner for the Department for Medicaid Services in Kentucky and the rising Board President. “I am honored to serve, along with my colleagues, and recognize the deeply held duty we all share to the people we support in our states and territories.”

NAMD is a professional community of state leaders who provide health insurance to more than 90 million individuals and families through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. The association’s Board of Directors guides all of the association’s work and represents the perspective of Medicaid programs with Congress and the Administration.

Lee brings a wealth of experience to her role. She has over 20 years of experience with Medicaid programs including her current service as Commissioner for the Department for Medicaid Services. Much of her career was spent with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, where she served in a variety of roles within the Department for Medicaid Services, including Member Services Representative, Director of Provider Services, Policy Analyst, and Deputy Commissioner. In addition to this, Lee served as the Program Director for the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP) for approximately 14 years.

The NAMD Board, which  includes representation from regions across the U.S. and its territories, elects new leadership annually. This leadership change comes at a significant time for all Medicaid programs as they look to bridge from pandemic-era changes to the program to a new normal. This work has included the unprecedented effort to “unwind” the program by redetermining eligibility for more than 94 million individuals who used the program for their health insurance, work that has been ongoing for the last year. In addition, Medicaid programs continue to focus on fulfilling federal requirements around redetermining the eligibility of every person on the program while also carrying forward the innovations around maternal and behavioral health as well as health-related social needs to are unique to Medicaid.

“This will be a pivotal year for Medicaid programs as they continue charting the course toward how they will serve the nation and their individual states and territories moving forward,” said Melisa Byrd, Senior Deputy Director and Medicaid Director of the Department of Health Care Finance for the District of Columbia and President-Elect. “It’s critical that Medicaid leaders continue to have meaningful input in the policies and processes that guide our programs.”

Byrd serves as the principal manager for the District’s Medicaid, CHIP, Alliance and Immigrant Children’s programs. Melisa directs the day-to-day organization, planning, implementation, and evaluation of the programs to ensure compliance with federal and District laws. Previously, Ms. Byrd served as the agency’s Chief of Staff and as the Associate Director of the Office of the Public Provider Liaison.

“It is an incredible privilege to serve under the leadership of NAMD’s remarkable board, and in particular, to have the opportunity to work so closely with Lisa, Melisa and our Immediate Past President Cindy Beane of West Virginia. Each of them exemplifies the best of public service, unwavering focus on the people served by the program, and deep commitment to the providers, plans and countless partners who make Medicaid work on a daily basis,” said Kate McEvoy, NAMD Executive Director.

Additional board members include:

  • Immediate Past President: Cindy Beane, Commissioner for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
  • Governance Committee Chair: Cheryl Roberts, Director of Virginia Medicaid
  • Finance Committee Chair: Henry Lipman, Director of New Hampshire Medicaid
  • West Regional Representatives: Juliet Charron, Division Administrator for Medicaid, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Stacie Weeks, Administrator Nevada Department of Health and Human Services
  • Midwest Regional Representatives: Elizabeth Matney, Medicaid Director, Iowa Department of Human Services and Sarah Aker, Director, Medical Services, North Dakota Human Services
  • South Regional Representatives: Traylor Rains, Medicaid Director, Oklahoma Health Care Authority and Stephanie Azar, Commissioner, Alabama Medicaid
  • East Regional Representatives:  Michelle Probert, Director of MaineCare, and Ryan Moran, Medicaid Director of Maryland Department of Health
  • Territories Representative: Gary Smith, Director of U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Human Services

 



  • For more information, visit http://medicaid.alabama.gov
  • For more state-wide press releases, click here