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Indiana social services agency leader leaving for new job

June 30, 2021 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The head of Indiana’s state health care and social services agency is leaving the position after more than four years and will be replaced by a top department official.

Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Dr. Jennifer Sullivan gained prominence last year as a frequent participant during Gov. Eric Holcomb’s televised coronavirus pandemic briefings discussing state programs such a food assistance and mental health counseling.

The governor’s office announced Wednesday that Sullivan was resigning to become a vice president of the Atrium Health hospital system in North Carolina.

Sullivan will be replaced by FSSA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dan Rusyniak effective Aug. 1. Rusyniak also was heavily involved in the state’s COVID-19 response, leading its oversight of nursing home matters.

Holcomb appointed Sullivan in early 2017 to lead the agency that provides an array of services, including Medicaid, food stamps, programs for the disabled and the state’s pre-K program. She previously was a deputy state health commissioner.

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“Jennifer Sullivan has dedicated herself to improving the social and human needs Hoosiers are faced with every day,” Holcomb said in a statement. “Secretary Sullivan tackled some of the most complex issues our state has ever dealt with and found new innovative ways to deliver improved results.”