Wednesday, January 30, 2013 —
RALEIGH – On her first day on the job as North Carolina’s Medicaid director, Carol Steckel announced that her first priority is to listen to the people most impacted by the Medicaid program.
“For my first few weeks, I want to get out there and listen to the people most impacted by the Medicaid program,” said Steckel, who brings leadership experience from Louisiana and Alabama Medicaid and has played a role in shaping Medicaid policy nationally.
“I believe it is vitally important that I meet with our own staff as well as advocates and constituency groups that serve the state’s 1.5 million Medicaid recipients to get a sense of their concerns and the changes they believe are needed.”
In appointing Steckel, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Aldona Wos, M.D., emphasized Steckel’s extensive background in health policy and government.
Steckel comes to North Carolina from Louisiana, where she coordinated the state’s response to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) legislation.
She led initiatives to improve the state’s public health care services while reducing costs, and to revamp its information technology capabilities, taking extensive advantage of the private and academic sectors.
Previously, she led Alabama Medicaid from 1988-1992 and from 2003-2010.
On the national stage, Steckel served as president of the National Medicaid Directors’ Association and worked to create the independent organization serving the needs of Medicaid programs.
In 2011 she provided instrumental support to the Republican Governors Association in developing a report titled “A New Medicaid: A Flexible, Innovative and Accountable Future.”
“Carol Steckel exemplifies the kind of bold thinking about government-funded healthcare that emphasizes efficiency and accountability, while still serving the neediest citizens among us,” Dr. Wos said.
“I’m confident that she will help shape the North Carolina Medicaid program into one that other states will look to as a model for guidance.”
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for ensuring the health, safety and well being of North Carolinians in all 100 counties of the state.
DHHS touches the lives of virtually every citizen, from birth to old age, through prenatal programs, child development programs, aging support programs and services for special populations including the mentally ill, deaf, blind and developmentally disabled.