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Sousa Named Permanent Rhode Island Medicaid Program Director

RHODE ISLAND, April 6 - PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee and Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Womazetta Jones today announced Kristin Pono Sousa as the state's next Medicaid Program Director – a role she has been filling on an interim basis since December 2021. She will officially start in her new position on April 10, 2022.

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) is designated as the single State agency to administer the Medicaid program in Rhode Island. Medicaid is an important source of coverage for low-income families with children, pregnant women, elders and persons with disabilities and special needs who otherwise might not be able to pay for or get access to affordable health care.

"As Rhode Island's Medicaid Director, Kristin brings expertise and a dedication to providing high quality services to this vulnerable population," said Governor McKee. "I'm grateful for her willingness to take on this role and look forward to working with her on behalf of the 300,000 Rhode Islanders that rely on this critical program."

"The State is fortunate to have someone of Kristin's caliber to lead such a complex and vital program for our state," said Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Womazetta Jones. "Kristin has a real commitment to Medicaid's mission and to improving the delivery of health care to the more than 300,000 Rhode Islanders enrolled in Medicaid. I am confident that she will help ensure access to benefits and promote provider-centric care with a focus on social determinants of health."

Sousa has spent her career focused on Medicaid program development, policy, and contract management. An employee of EOHHS since 2018, her previous roles include Deputy Medicaid Program Director and Managed Care Director. For 10 years, she also served as Health Service Delivery Director at Conduent, Inc. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Service Administration from Providence College.

"I am humbled to serve the State of Rhode Island as the Medicaid Program Director," said Sousa. "Having worked in Medicaid for over 10 years, I am committed to ensuring that the program provides access to high-quality services, fosters partnerships with all stakeholders, improves health outcomes and reduces cost growth, with a particular focus on health equity and strengthening the continuum of care for Rhode Islanders."

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