(DES MOINES, Iowa) - The Department of Human Services (DHS) is pleased to announce that Iowa Medicaid Director Elizabeth Matney is one of six Medicaid directors chosen to participate in the Medicaid Leadership Institute (MLI), a national initiative directed by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) and made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The program offers a unique opportunity for Medicaid directors and their key staff from across the U.S. to enhance the skills necessary to successfully lead and improve their state programs and impact health outcomes.

"I could not be prouder of Liz's selection to the Medicaid Leadership Institute. There are few people in the Medicaid space who can match her knowledge of the program, compassion for the people it serves, and drive to have the tough conversations to get things done," said DHS Director Kelly Garcia. "I look forward to seeing what she brings back from MLI, and the positive changes ahead."

Matney was competitively selected to participate in the leadership development program along with five additional Medicaid directors from Alaska, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania.

"Medicaid directors across the country are in the driver's seat to foster innovations that improve health care delivery to people who use Medicaid, many of whom face social and economic factors that negatively impact health," said Don Schwarz, senior vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "Our commitment to leadership development for these state officials helps promote innovative thinking to center health equity and strengthen collaboration across state government, public health, and community organizations, all critically needed in our current environment."

This new class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute marks the 11th group of Medicaid directors chosen for this prestigious executive training opportunity. With this new class, 65 directors from 41 Medicaid agencies have participated in the program since 2009. It is directed by Mark Larson, senior vice president at CHCS, former Vermont Medicaid director, and Class of 2014 MLI Fellow.

"Medicaid directors play a critical role in driving positive change across our health care system, including addressing the lasting challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic," Larson said. "We are excited to support this year's class of six dedicated Medicaid directors and their teams in leading their programs, which are so critical to the well-being of millions of our neighbors in America."

"The National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) has partnered with MLI since 2009 to invest in state leaders who are integral to the health of the nation," said Jami Snyder, NAMD Board President; Director, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System; and Class of 2018 MLI Fellow. "Many of those in NAMD leadership roles, myself included, are proud MLI alumni. We value both the comprehensive skill development and relationship building fostered through MLI. We look forward to working with this next class of fellows as they navigate the ever-changing landscape of the country's health care delivery system."

During the 10-month-long program, fellows will gain skills in key areas, including 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. For more information about the Medicaid Leadership Institute, visit www.chcs.org/medicaid-leadership.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is committed to improving health and health equity in the United States. In partnership with others, RWJF is working to develop a culture of health rooted in equity that provides every individual with a fair and just opportunity to thrive no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org/. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

About CHCS

The Center for Health Care Strategies is a policy design and implementation partner devoted to improving outcomes for people enrolled in Medicaid. CHCS supports partners across sectors and disciplines to make more effective, efficient, and equitable care possible for millions of people across the nation. For more information, visit www.chcs.org.