For Immediate Release:
November 5, 2021
Amy Webb, Chief of Communications & Community Engagement
Gavin Lesnick, Deputy Chief of Communications
(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — In an effort to amplify client voices and increase feedback from the beneficiaries of Medicaid-funded programs, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) is launching a Medicaid Client Voice Council.
DHS is seeking clients or caregivers of clients from across the state to serve on the council. Council members are required to be enrolled in at least one Medicaid program. Those programs could include ARKids, ARChoices, Arkansas Works, traditional Medicaid, the PAASE program, and services for people with intellectual, developmental, or physical disabilities as well as those receiving mental health or substance abuse services.
“This council mirrors a similar, successful effort in Colorado,” said DHS Secretary Cindy Gillespie. “Clients in Colorado have been able to help shape statewide goals, suggest solutions for common problems, redirect agency focus and resources, and make programs more accessible and equitable. Those are some of the things we believe the Medicaid Client Voice Council can accomplish here in Arkansas as well.”
The council will meet every other month, with the goal of improving the quality and delivery of Medicaid services for all Arkansans by learning from the experiences and hearing the ideas of the people DHS serves. Clients will help set the agenda for meetings, have opportunities to present ideas and question DHS staff, and offer feedback on policy changes.
Clients and caregivers can apply online (ar.gov/clientvoice) to participate, or they can pick up an application at any DHS county office. Applicants should have both the time and the desire to serve. Council members will be paid a stipend per meeting and reimbursement for transportation costs to and from Little Rock (if necessary).
For more information about the council, please contact Jason Pederson at 501-658-1217 or Jason.Pederson@dhs.arkansas.gov. Media inquiries should be directed to Amy.Webb@dhs.arkansas.gov or Gavin.Lesnick.DHS@dhs.arkansas.gov.