DES MOINES – Today, Governor Reynolds appointed Gerd W. Clabaugh to serve as interim director of the Department of Human Services. He will continue to serve as director of the Department of Public Health until a permanent DHS director is named.
“Gerd has done an incredible job at the Department of Public Health and is well positioned to lead the Department of Human Services,” said Gov. Reynolds. “He will play a very important role in implementing my vision for an integrated, compassionate, and coordinated health care system.”
Gerd Clabaugh has served as the director of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) since 2014. Clabaugh has served in many capacities within IDPH, including deputy director, director of health promotion and chronic disease prevention, director of acute disease epidemiology and emergency response. During the early 1990s, he served as director of the center for health policy. Clabaugh has Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and Economics from Drake University, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Iowa State University, and Doctoral Studies in Health Management and Policy from the University of Iowa.
Clabaugh replaces Jerry Foxhoven, who resigned effective today.
Iowa Senate Democrats hit back with a statement:
“The Governor needs to immediately launch a nationwide search for a new Director of the Department of Human Services who is truly committed to watching out for the most vulnerable children and adults in Iowa.
“This means finding an advocate who will fight for more resources, push for stronger policies, and ensure that those policies are enforced for the betterment of all Iowans.
“After years of mismanagement and neglect by Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans, Iowans deserve a new Director with the backbone necessary to put quality care and proper oversight ahead of special interests.
“The damage they’ve done to Iowans includes:
– Creating and supporting a privatized Medicaid system that is unsustainable, unaffordable and unaccountable. It’s so bad that the federal government has launched an investigation into whether officials in Iowa and other states are providing sufficient and appropriate oversight to ensure that people with Medicaid are receiving the care to which they are entitled.
– Decimating the state’s successful family planning network, resulting in more unintended pregnancies, more risky births, more teenage mothers.
– Inadequately funding mental health services for children and adults.
– Allowing dangerous practices and procedures at Glenwood, Eldora and other at state-operated facilities.
“Finally, it’s especially bad news for Medicaid recipients, health care providers and Iowa taxpayers that the Governor’s Director is leaving (a) in the middle of negotiations with both out-of-state managed care organizations (MCO) and (b) when hundreds of thousands of Iowans are two weeks away from transitioning to a new MCO.”