Another announcement coming from the Corbett transition team this week is that of its choice of Gary Alexander for the post of Department of Public Welfare (DPW) Secretary. At around $20 billion in annual state and federal monies, DPW is responsible for more funding in Pennsylvania than any other agency in state government.
Alexander currently serves as Secretary for the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) – an office created to facilitate cooperation and coordination among the five agencies administering the state’s health and human service programs: the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF); the Department of Elderly Affairs (DEA); the Department of Human Services (DHS); the Department of Health (HEALTH); and, the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH).
During his tenure as secretary, Alexander has been credited with helping to craft the first national Global Medicaid Waiver – an agreement with the federal government that placed a five-year, $12 billion cap on state Medicaid spending in return for a greater degree of flexibility in utilizing those funds and pursuing additional cost-cutting strategies.
Prior to his appointment as department head, Alexander served as DHS Director – a post he achieved after eight years as Assistant Director. Alexander is a graduate of Northeastern University, and obtained his J.D. at Suffolk University Law School.