Governor John Kasich has announced that Barbara Sears will replace John McCarthy as the director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid in December. Ms. Sears has been assistant director of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation since July 1, 2016. Prior to July 1, she served as a state representative from Sylvania, as House majority floor leader, and as chair of both the Insurance Committee and Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee. She has been a vocal proponent of Medicaid expansion.
Mr. McCarthy has been the state’s Medicaid director since the start of the Kasich administration. He led the department’s creation as an independent cabinet agency and oversaw Medicaid expansion.
“From the very beginning, Mr. McCarthy has been an invaluable member of my Cabinet and a key driver behind our efforts to modernize Ohio’s Medicaid program,” Gov. Kasich said in a statement. “He is an outstanding thinker, leader, and professional whose work has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Ohioans and made our state better. I’m grateful we’ve had him leading one of our largest state programs over the majority of my time in office, and thanks to his leadership, our most vulnerable Ohioans are better served and the program now rests on strong financial footing.”
“Filling those shoes is hard, which is why I turned to Ms. Sears,” Gov. Kasich added. “She has consistently been someone who has shared my vision for health care and worked closely with our team to achieve it. She knows the health care and insurance spaces very well and has outstanding relationships with the General Assembly. She has the right combination of expertise, temperament, and leadership ability to guide Medicaid forward and I’m glad she’s agreed to take up this responsibility.”