Rhode Island’s Medicaid director, Dr. Deidre Gifford, is stepping down. A search for her replacement is underway.
Executive Office of Health and Human Services spokesman Michael Raia says Gifford will stay on the job through October to help with the transition. Raia says Gifford is leaving her position in order to be closer to her husband, who works in Washington, D.C.
Gifford has led the state health insurance program for the poor for a little over a year, and worked for EOHHS for about three and a half years. During that time, she helped oversee the expansion of Medicaid eligibility under Obamacare. And Raia says she was instrumental in Governor Gina Raimondo’s effort to trim millions of dollars from the program this year.
Her departure comes at a time when several reform efforts are in progress. Her replacement hasn’t been named yet but will oversee an agency that accounts for more than a third of the state’s budget.