Governor Matt Bevin on Thursday appointed Adam Meier as secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which is responsible for running almost every government-involved health program in Kentucky.
Meier will replace Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, who stepped down earlier this year to run against Representative John Yarmuth in Louisville. The cabinet oversees the adoption system, foster care, child welfare, Medicaid, food assistance, hospital inspections, among others.
“For much of the past two years, [Meier] has been focused on healthcare policy in Kentucky, and his empathy for people, combined with his legal background and working knowledge of human services programs at the state and federal level, make him an ideal choice to lead this important cabinet,” Bevin said in a release.
Bevin named Meier his deputy chief of staff for policy when Bevin was elected in 2015. Since then, Meier has led efforts to fix technical glitches in Benefind, a state-run benefits eligibility system. He has also led changes to the Medicaid program, including adding community engagement requirements, sometimes known as work requirements.
“With the innovative changes coming with the Kentucky HEALTH waiver [Medicaid] and the increased financial resources and legislative support for improving Kentucky’s child welfare, foster care, and adoption systems, I am honored and humbled at the responsibility Gov. Bevin has entrusted me with to lead the cabinet at this pivotal time,” Meier said in a press release.
In 2016, Bevin fulfilled a campaign process of dismantling Kynect, which had been used by people signing up for insurance on the individual exchange market. Meier lead the closure of Kynect and the switch to using Healthcare.gov, the federal individual market exchange.
Meier was previously a city council member in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, and an attorney.
Bevin also appointed Kristi Putnam as deputy secretary for the cabinet. Putnam, an executive advisor to CHFS’ Department for Community Based Services, is involved in the Medicaid changes and previously also worked on Benefind.