FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Gov. Matt Bevin appointed new leadership on Thursday to head up the state’s largest Cabinet, effective immediately.
Adam Meier was named Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services with Kristi Putnam as Deputy CHFS Secretary.
Meier most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy for Gov. Bevin, focusing on the formation of essential administration-wide health, workforce, and education policy initiatives, with an emphasis on improving technology and analytical capabilities to better measure policy outcomes.
“For much of the past two years, he 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. “He is respected across the nation for his innovation and knowledge of healthcare policy, and he will be a tremendous asset to Kentucky in his new role.”
While Deputy Chief of Staff, Meier was responsible for overseeing Kentucky’s 1115 Medicaid waiver application (Kentucky HEALTH), which was the first in the nation to gain approval from the federal government. Since the waiver was approved in January, he has continued to work with the 1115 implementation team preparing to roll it out statewide.
“With the innovative changes coming with the Kentucky HEALTH waiver 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.
Meier is an attorney and previously worked as a senior contracting officer for the federal government. He lives with his wife and three children in Ft. Thomas, where is a former member of the city council.
Prior to her appointment as Deputy CHFS Secretary, Putnam served as an executive advisor to the Department for Community Based Services, leading efforts to improve technology and staffing efforts for Benefind, Kentucky’s integrated benefits eligibility system, and assisting in the development of public benefits and child welfare policy.
Most recently, she was program manager for Kentucky HEALTH and has led a multi-cabinet project team to develop policy, partnerships, technology, and communications to support implementation of the program across the state.
Putnam is a 26-year veteran of the human services and education policy sector, having held positions in Florida’s Department of Education and Department of Children and Families.
Meier is replacing Scott Brinkman, who Gov. Bevin named as Interim CHFS Secretary after Vickie Yates Brown Glisson resigned in January to seek the Republican nomination for Kentucky’s 3rd District Congressional seat, currently held by six term Democrat John Yarmuth.
Brinkman is returning to his previous post as Secretary of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet.