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DHS announces key changes to executive leadership team


LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced several key changes to its executive leadership structure that will help align divisions within the agency to serve beneficiaries more holistically. 

Effective today, Janet Mann will serve as Deputy Secretary for Programs and Misty Eubanks will serve as Deputy Secretary for Operations and Budget. In addition, Melissa Weatherton will serve as Director of Specialty Medicaid Services under Mann. These changes will streamline all programs under one reporting structure and are intended to increase cross-divisional collaboration and efficiencies. Further, the restructuring will enhance the agency focus on identifying and increasing resources for providing prevention and intervention services across all programs, which will improve service delivery and outcomes to our beneficiaries and should reduce the need for higher-cost behavioral health and medical treatments and out-of-home placements over time.

Mann previously served as Deputy Secretary for Health, overseeing five divisions and one office within DHS that provide Medicaid services, support, and operations. In her redefined role, Mann will continue to oversee these areas and also will assume responsibility for overseeing the Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the Division of Youth Services (DYS), the Placement Residential Licensing Unit (PRLU), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Deputy Secretary Mann also will continue to serve as the State Medicaid Director.

“The children and families we serve don’t come to us in pieces, but sometimes we deliver our services as if they do,” said DHS Secretary Kristi Putnam. “By aligning all programs under one Deputy Secretary, we will be better positioned to work together to provide wraparound assistance that may span multiple divisions and offices. Janet Mann is a proven leader who has the strategic program and funding expertise and in-depth leadership experience to lead this effort – and I’m excited to see her take on this new charge.”   

Eubanks has served as the agency’s Chief Financial Officer for over two and a half years, and previously has held roles as a Staff Attorney practicing in child welfare, Attorney Supervisor, Privacy Officer, Chief Procurement Officer, and Chief of Business Operations. She has been with DHS for a total of 17 years. In her new role, she will oversee finance and budget and supervise the Office of Procurement, the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Information Technology, the Office of Policy and Rules, and the Office of Payment Integrity. 

“Misty has a head for business and a heart for service, and an impressive record of leading DHS policies and programs through a variety of different roles,” Putnam said. “She thoroughly understands this agency and the complex issues we tackle on a daily basis, and I know she will excel in this new role.” 

Weatherton has served as the Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) for eight years. In her new role, she will oversee specialty Medicaid services with a specific focus on DDS, as well as the Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services (DAABHS), and the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (OSAMH). She has been with DHS for nearly 14 years and also has experience in child welfare and youth services.

“Melissa is a respected leader who possesses a rich understanding of Medicaid and a real compassion for the beneficiaries we serve,” Mann said. “Her extensive experience, her thorough knowledge of our programs and policies, and her true commitment to making DHS better every day make her an ideal pick for this new role.” 

DHS will name an interim Chief Financial Officer and an interim Director for DDS at a later date.

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