Management adjustments going down at DHSS, together with deputy secretary – Delaware State Information
NEW LOCK – Molly Magarik, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in Delaware, announced five leadership changes for the organization on Friday, involving four departments and one of the department’s assistant secretarial positions.
Sarah Noonan Davis, who served in leadership roles at the University of Delaware and Westside Family Healthcare, has been named Assistant Secretary for Special Population, Strategic Planning and Innovation.
She will oversee Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities, Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Developmental Disability Services, the Visually Impaired, and Management Services.
Ms. Noonan Davis was previously the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the University of Delaware and the Assistant Director and Assistant Assistant Director of Westside Family Healthcare, a state-qualified health center with facilities in New Castle and Kent counties.
In 2004 she graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in political science and in 2006 with a master’s degree in public administration. She is working on her PhD in Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the UD.
She replaces Lisa Bond, who left DHSS for a position in the private sector. Ms. Noonan Davis, who lives in Wilmington, will take up her role on March 1, joining Tanisha Merced, Assistant Secretary of Politics and Social Services for DHSS.
Together with Ms. Magarik, they will ensure the service delivery and support for DHSS leadership, employees, community partners and customers remain strong during the COVID-19 pandemic as they begin to advance the goals and initiatives set out in the DHSS strategic plan .
“In her role as Assistant Secretary, Sarah Noonan Davis will bring her experience of serving Delaware in various roles and her myriad community relationships to lead our agency during these critical times,” said Ms. Magarik. “Until the pandemic is over and all of the Delawareans who want the vaccine have received it, our top priority is to continue to coordinate with our providers about the delivery of services, along with the services that DHSS provides directly to people in need he brings.
“Additionally, Sarah’s talents and skills will be critical as our agency, employees, vendors and clients make the transition to a post-COVID world and as we focus again on meeting the needs of the communities we serve. “
In addition to the announcement of the deputy secretary, Ms. Magarik also announced the following leadership changes:
• Dava Newnam, who was Director of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities and who held various roles at DHSS for 20 years, has been appointed Director of Management Services.
Ms. Newnam will serve as chief operating officer for the division, responsible for managing a $ 3 billion budget and 3,500 employees.
As director of DSAAPD, Ms. Newnam has led more than 700 employees since August 2017 and was responsible for the management of the Delaware State Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna. Community-facing units serving approximately 20,000 vulnerable Delaware residents over the age of 60; and the Adult Protection Services Division, which protects vulnerable adults who are at risk of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
She holds degrees in psychology from St. Petersburg Junior College and the Delaware Technical Community College. Ms. Newnam, who lives in Wilmington with her family, will begin her new role on Monday.
• Melissa Smith, DSAAPD’s Assistant Director since November 2018, has been appointed Director.
Ms. Smith has served in a variety of roles at DHSS for the past 16 years, including serving as the long-term care planning manager and planner at DSAAPD, and as assistant director and planning director in the Drug Abuse and Mental Health Department.
Prior to joining DHSS, she worked as an analyst with the Government Accountability Office and the Office of Inspector General at the US Department of Justice. Ms. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in urban affairs and public policy. Ms. Smith, who lives in Newark with her family, will begin her new role on Monday.
• Thomas Killian Jr., who served as the Regional Director of Western Psychiatric Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has been appointed director of the Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. He will begin his new role on January 19th.
Alexis Teitelbaum, who served as Assistant Director for DSAMH, will return to her previous role as Assistant Director.
Mr. Killian, a licensed behavioral specialist, has worked in behavioral health services for more than 14 years, including the past eight years in leadership positions at nonprofits and university-affiliated psychiatric institutes and clinics.
Since April, in his role as regional director at Western Psychiatric Hospital, efforts have been made to ensure the stability and standardization of behavioral medicine in three hospitals in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Somerset, Pennsylvania; and Cumberland, Maryland, and has monitored both inpatient and outpatient services in these hospitals and communities.
He oversaw the department heads, led the training and was responsible for financial management, recruitment, relationship building with partners, customers and society as well as strategic planning.
Previously, he was Executive Director of Garrett County Lighthouse Inc. in Oakland, Maryland. associate clinical director with Keystone Human Services in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; primary inpatient therapist at the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute in Harrisburg; and Program Manager at Pennsylvania Treatment & Healing in Pottsville.
Mr. Killian earned a BS in Biology and a BS in Psychology from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania. and a Masters of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. He is pursuing a PhD in psychology from Northcentral University in Scottsdale, Arizona.
• Faith Mwaura, a senior social services administrator in the Government Service Centers Department, has been appointed assistant director.
Ms. Mwaura, who has been with the department since 2010, was previously the social services administrator. Her duties included administering federal grants and state-funded community food programs, and developing the Community Services Block Grant State Plan.
Her current responsibilities as a member of the department’s leadership team include overseeing, directing, and overseeing federal, state, and private funds that benefit low-income and vulnerable Delaware residents.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Wisconsin Lutheran College and a master’s degree in urban development and public policy from the University of Delaware. Ms. Mwaura replaces Cynthia Manlove, who retired after almost 40 years at DHSS. Ms. Mwaura, who lives in New Castle with her family, will begin her new role on January 17th.
“I am very pleased to have these five people in these critical positions,” said Ms. Magarik. “They all have important experiences in reaching employees, customers, vendors and other community partners. Innovations even under difficult circumstances; and to do the hard work of strategic planning.
“I would like to express my special thanks to Alexis Teitelbaum for leading the Drug Abuse and Mental Health Division over the past four months, and I know that she will be instrumental in helping Thomas Killian transition into his role.”
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