NC Medicaid chief to head UNC-Pembroke

Posted May 21, 2015

N.C. health, mental health, Medicaid generic

— Dr. Robin Cummings, who has headed North Carolina's Medicaid program for the past year, was named Thursday as the next chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Cummings will leave the state Department of Health and Human Services, where he also served as deputy secretary for health services, on July 5.

"Dr. Cummings' extensive health care experience and long-standing relationships within the medical community enabled him to identify opportunities to deliver Medicaid services more effectively and efficiently and improve the Medicaid budget, which is in the best shape it has been in for five years," DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos said in a statement. "He successfully led the first restructuring of the division in 35 years, which is a critical step to ensuring its long-term stability and preparing for Medicaid reform."

Dave Richard, deputy secretary of behavioral health and developmental disability services, will succeed Cummings as Medicaid director.

DHHS officials said Richard has been involved with the oversight of the Local Management Entities and Managed Care Organizations (LME-MCO) system, which is responsible for more than $2 billion of Medicaid funding in a managed care delivery system. Before joining DHHS, he headed The Arc of North Carolina, where he worked in policy development related to Medicaid at the state and national level, officials said.

Dr. Randall Williams, a Raleigh ob/gyn, will succeed Cummings as deputy secretary for health services, overseeing the Division of Public Health and the Office of Rural Health and Community Care. For the last 11 years, Williams has served as a volunteer in U.S. State Department- and World Health Organization-sponsored endeavors, teaching physicians and helping with clinical governance overseas. Serving mostly in conflict zones, his work has taken him to Iraq on 11 deployments, as well as to Afghanistan, Libya and Haiti.

A native of Robeson County and a member of the Lumbee tribe, Cummings previously served on the Board of Trustees at UNC-Pembroke.

"It's the highest position I can go home to," he said in a statement. "Serving under the leadership of Secretary Wos as the state's Medicaid Director has been an honor and one of the most valuable experiences of my career. This has given me a better understanding of our citizens' needs and has prepared me to be an effective leader in my next role as the chancellor of UNC-Pembroke."


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