Governor-elect Raimondo to Nominate Lt. Governor Roberts for Health and Human Services Secretary

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor-elect Gina Raimondo today announced her intention to nominate Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth H. Roberts to the post of Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). Raimondo will submit Roberts for consideration to the Rhode Island Senate in January for confirmation.

“Elizabeth Roberts is the right leader for HHS because she has the key combination of management skills and compassion for the thousands of people the agency serves. We will keep Rhode Island families healthy, while also cracking down on fraud and focusing on fiscal discipline in order to cut costs,” Raimondo said. “The Lieutenant Governor’s years of experience working on various health and human services issues, coupled with her unwavering dedication to making our state stronger, makes her the best choice to lead this office.”

Prior to taking office in 2007, Lt. Governor Roberts spent over a decade as one of Rhode Island’s most respected advocates for quality, affordable health care for families and small businesses and earned a statewide reputation for being a tireless leader on health and medical issues.

While serving in the Senate, Roberts was an acknowledged leader on healthcare reform issues.  She is credited with creating the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner, an important mechanism for controlling health insurance costs and expanding primary care in Rhode Island.  She championed legislation to protect the safety of residents in nursing homes.  Then-Senator Roberts also led the effort to reform the corporate board structure at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, providing for more transparency and public accountability.  As Lt. Governor and most recently as chair of the state’s Healthcare Reform Commission, Roberts has led the implementation of federal health reform in Rhode Island, a nationally recognized success in reducing the number of the uninsured and lowering the cost of health insurance.

“I am honored to be joining the Raimondo administration and look forward to rolling up my sleeves to make sure Rhode Islanders of all ages have access to the quality services they deserve,” Roberts said. “Once confirmed, I will focus 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.  I look forward to serving on the team that will advance Governor-elect Raimondo’s vision for ensuring a healthy future for Rhode Islanders and a healthy economy for our state.”

EOHHS coordinates the organization, finance and delivery of services and supports provided through the Department of Children, Youth and Families, Department of Health, Department of Human Services (including the divisions of Elderly Affairs and Veterans Affairs), and Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals.

Roberts has a degree from Brown University in Human Biology and an MBA in Health Care Management from Boston University.

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