Medicaid director moves to UI


Iowa Medicaid Director Jennifer Vermeer will join the University of Iowa as an assistant vice president for Medical Affairs with UI Health Care.

Vermeer, who has been the Iowa Medicaid director since 2008, will stay in that position until Aug. 21 and will begin her new position at the UI on Aug. 25.

“Serving as Iowa’s Medicaid director has been rewarding both personally and professionally,” she said.

“I’m passionate about improving population health and leading health-delivery reform as we did through the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, and this new public service opportunity will allow me to help transform health care at the delivery-system level.”

In the new position, Vermeer will try to advance efforts to monitor use of the health-care system by patients, track costs, and improve patient outcomes. She will also work on strengthening partnerships through the UI Health Alliance.

The Health Alliance includes more than 50 hospitals and more than 160 physician clinics, which include Mercy Health Network, Mercy Cedar Rapids, and Wheaton Franciscan Health Care-Iowa.

“I see this new position as a natural extension of my work as Iowa Medicaid director,” Vermeer said. “This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate even more closely with the institutions that do so much to directly benefit patients across our state.”

During her time at Iowa Medicated, Vermeer initiated team-based approaches to patient-centered care, secured a federal State Innovation Model, which will grant to develop new payment and service delivery models, as well as implemented Affordable Care Act requirements through the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan.

Charles Palmer, the director of Iowa Department of Human Services, said the department hopes Vermeer will continue to work to improve the quality of health care for Iowans in her new position.

“[Vermeer] has shown tremendous leadership in her role as Medicaid director, and her accomplishments will affect the state’s delivery of health-care services for many years,” Palmer said.

Julie Lovelady, the deputy director of Iowa Medicaid, was appointed as interim director. She has had 20 years of experience with the program.

Palmer said he continues to oversee key initiatives through Medicaid.

Jean Robillard, the UI vice president for Medical Affairs, said he is looking forward to working with Vermeer and is delighted she has agreed to devote her skills to the health-care needs of Iowans.

Robillard was appointed as vice president in January 2007, after serving as the dean of the Carver College of Medicine for four years.

“This is a new position we created because we need the person of quality and expertise to help us with the Health Alliance,” Robillard told The Daily Iowan. “I think we’re quite pleased to have her, and the good thing is she’ll continue to work in Iowa for Iowans.”

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