Gov. Jay Nixon taps health executive for Cabinet

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 | 5:33 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday appointed Alan Freeman, a veteran executive of health care systems, to be the director of the Department of Social Services for the governor's second term.

"Very few leaders have Alan Freeman's unique combination of health care administration experience and an intimate understanding of the needs of Missouri's most vulnerable families and children," Nixon said in a written statement.

Freeman is the president and CEO of Grace Hill Health Centers, which operates five health care centers and a community health program in St. Louis, and is also president of the board of directors for the St. Louis Integrated Health Network.

Previously, he was the executive director for the nonprofit community health center Missouri Highlands Health Care that provides primary and preventative health care in Butler, Carter, Iron, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon and Wayne counties. He also was the CEO for Cass Medical Center in Harrisonville and held senior leadership posts at two other hospitals.

In addition, Freeman has served as the board president for the Missouri Primary Care Association and served on the governing board of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission. In all, the governor's office said Freeman has spent more than 20 years working in health care administration.

The Department of Social Services oversees the Medicaid health care program for the poor, the juvenile justice system, foster care and adoption services and public aid programs. Freeman's appointment requires confirmation by the Senate when state lawmakers return to the Capitol in January, and he stands to inherit a state agency led by an acting director for more than a year since former leader Ron Levy left state government for a post at Saint Louis University.

Brian Kinkade, who has been the acting department director, is to return to his previous job as deputy director.

Freeman lives in Ellington in southern Missouri and has a master's degree in business administration with an emphasis in health services management from Webster University.


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