Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Mar 7, 2005
Daniels names Dr. Judy Monroe State Health Commissioner, Medical Director of Medicaid

INDIANAPOLIS (March 7, 2005) ? Governor Mitch Daniels today named the first woman to serve as the Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health. In addition to the responsibilities of commissioner, Dr. Judith Monroe also will be the medical director of the state?s Medicaid program under the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). This joint appointment is the first in the state?s history, linking the financially-oriented Medicaid program with the quality-oriented Department of Health.

?Hoosiers are paying more than the national average for health care, yet they are not seeing higher quality outcomes,? said Governor Daniels. ?For too long, Indiana has paid providers from one agency and regulated them from another. Linking the health department with the financial throw weight of Medicaid will allow greater and more rapid evolution of the healthcare delivery system in quality and cost containment.?

Monroe has been director of the primary care center and family medicine residency program at St. Vincent Hospitals and Health Services, Inc., in Indianapolis since 1992. As the primary care center director, she has been responsible for leading St. Vincent?s programs to assist indigent patients at multiple facilities.

?Judy and I share a vision for improving the quality of life in Indiana by helping Hoosiers incorporate healthy habits into their routines.? said the governor.

?This is an incredible opportunity to have an impact on the lives of many people at once,? said Monroe. ?Public health service is an important part of my life. I spent four years in Appalachia and had many days where there was standing room only in my clinic. In this role, I?ll be able to do more to help Hoosiers turn their lifestyles around so we can become a healthier society.?

In addition to Monroe?s appointment, Daniels also announced the formation of a Hoosier Health Care Cabinet, a group of state employees with impressive backgrounds in health care delivery and financing.

Cabinet members will include Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Mitch Roob, the former chief executive officer of the Wishard Health and Hospital Corporation and the Marion County Health Department; Sue Uhl, deputy commissioner of the health department; Dick Rhoad, FSSA?s chief financial officer;

Jeanne LaBrecque, FSSA?s director of health policy for the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning, and Anne Murphy, FSSA chief of staff.

Monroe earned her medical degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Before her work with St. Vincent, she was director of clinics with the Indiana University School of Medicine?s Department of Family Medicine. There, she was the key representative for primary care to the Wishard Outreach Strategic Planning Committee that revamped service delivery through public health clinics, such as the Cleo Blackburn Clinic in Indianapolis.