For Immediate Release
Deputy Chief of Communications
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. —The Arkansas Department Human Services (DHS) announced Tuesday that Mark White will serve as the new Deputy Director of the Division for Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health (DAABH).
White has nearly 15 years of experience in State government, with about five of those as a senior executive. He was named DHS chief counsel in March 2013 and was then promoted to Deputy Director of DHS in 2015. As Deputy Director of DHS, he oversaw over half of the department, including all the Medicaid, health and community programs. Since September 2016, White has served as the Director of Legal Services for the nonprofit Arkansas Public School Resource Center.
White has a long history of state service outside DHS, as well. He has served as a lawyer for the Arkansas Department of Education, an Administrative Law Judge with the Arkansas Workers Compensation Commission and as former Governor Mike Huckabee’s Policy Advisor for Regulatory Affairs.
“Mark has extensive knowledge of this area of DHS. He is a steady, capable leader who is highly respected in this agency and across the state. There was no doubt that he was the right choice for this new position,” said DHS Director Cindy Gillespie.
White will begin in his new DHS role on February 19. In this role, White will work with Craig Cloud, Director of the Division of Provider Services and Quality Assurance, and DAABH Director Jay Hill to transition and integrate programs that benefit aging Arkansans into the new division. Act 913 of the 2017 legislative session created the DAABH division, which combines the services of two previously distinct divisions within DHS: Aging and Adult Services and Behavioral Health.
“I look forward to working with Mark and Jay as we transition to the new divisions and reshape how DHS works in this arena,” said Cloud.
Following this transition, White will oversee Adult Protective Services and aging programs previously handled by the Divisions of Aging and Adult Services and Behavioral Health Services, including the ARChoices program and DHS’s work with Community Mental Health Centers. Adult Protective Services investigates reports of maltreatment and neglect of older Arkansans. The ARChoices program offers personal care and assistance to adults with physical disabilities so that they can remain in their homes rather than receiving care in an institution.
DAABH offers services and programs to improve the quality of life of aging Arkansans, adults with physical disabilities, and those who need mental health resources. In addition to the programs White will oversee, the division coordinates the state’s community mental health system, oversees two facilities, the Arkansas State Hospital and the Arkansas Health Center, as well as the substance abuse programs operating under the office of the State Drug Director.