Missouri Social Service director quits, returning to St. Louis to run Grace Hill centers
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 20, 2013: Five months after taking the post, Missouri Department of Social Services Director Alan Freeman is resigning to return to his old job in St. Louis as president and chief executive officer of Grace Hill Health Centers Inc.
Gov. Jay Nixon announced Freeman’s departure today, which comes just a week after the governor’s announcement, without details, that Ian McCaslin was being replaced as director of the department's Medicaid division.
It’s unclear if the two departures are related, or if they are tied to the General Assembly’s decision this past session not to approve the state’s expansion of the Medicaid program, as sought by Nixon and business and healthcare-related groups around the state.
Freeman is leaving May 31. His hiring was announced late last December, right before the legislative session opened.
“I greatly appreciate Alan’s leadership and service to the state of Missouri, and his tireless commitment to improving the health of Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens,” Nixon said in a statement. “Returning to Grace Hill will allow Alan to continue to serve our state and pursue his passion for providing quality, affordable health care to families in need.”
Nixon said that Deputy Director of Social Services Brian Kinkade will serve as acting director when Freeman’s resignation takes effect at the end of the month. Kinkade had run the agency earlier, from 2011 until Freeman’s arrival.
“Brian is a trusted leader whose long career has earned him respect on both sides of the aisle,” Nixon said. “I have full confidence in his continued commitment to helping Missouri’s children and families live safe and healthy lives.”