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Indiana social services chief Minott leaving post

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The head of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration is on her way out just as negotiations heat up with federal officials over Gov. Mike Pence’s alternative to a traditional Medicaid expansion.

Secretary Debra Minott said Monday she will be “transitioning out” of her role as leader of the state’s largest agency over the next month.

“I have appreciated the opportunity to serve FSSA and the taxpayers of Indiana for the past 17 months,” Minott said. “We have all worked together to re-establish FSSA as an integrated, collaborative agency.”

A source close to Pence had said earlier Monday that the administration had begun discussions with Minott “about a change in direction” at the agency. A few hours later, the secretary released her statement.

It comes as the state continues crucial negotiations with federal officials over Pence’s plan to expand the state’s Healthy Indiana Plan to more low-income Hoosiers using Medicaid dollars.

The governor’s press secretary, Kara Brooks, said that Pence “holds Secretary Minott in the highest regard and believes she has served the people of Indiana with integrity and professionalism.”

The state’s formal application for a waiver of Medicaid rules is due at the end of this month and Minott has been traveling across the state explaining the details of the Pence proposal at public hearings.

On Monday morning, the secretary appeared at a Community Health Network event in Indianapolis to discuss the proposal.

Pence appointed Minott to the FSSA post after he was inaugurated last year. It was one of the last key positions he filled in the administration. She had served previously as director of the state’s personnel department and in executive or legal roles with Hill-Rom, a medical device manufacturer in Batesville; CarDon & Associates Inc.; and with Eli Lilly and Co.

In her statement, Minott said she will be working “with the governor’s office to ensure an orderly transition to new leadership.”

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