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Governor Appoints New ODMHAS Director

Jul 9, 2018

Mark Hurst
Credit healthsceneohio.com

Ohio Governor John Kasich has named a new director for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. 

Mark Hurst takes over July 13 for Tracy Plouck, who is leaving for the private sector. Hurst has served as the department's medical director since 2012. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler has more.

Plouck was Medicaid director under Governors Bob Taft and Ted Strickland. Kasich hired her to head the Department of Mental Health, which merged with Addiction Services in 2013.

“We’re proud of the fact that we’ve not had to do any layoffs resulting from this. But every dollar that we save, we’re going to put into services.”

 

Plouck helped push for Medicaid expansion. And as the opioid crisis escalated, Plouck spoke out for treatment and prevention, even as some called on the Kasich administration to declare an emergency.

 

“I feel very strongly that we have been treating this like an emergency for the last six years.”

 

Plouck helped oversee a challenging move of behavioral health services into Medicaid managed care on July 1. She leaves for a private sector opportunity and will be replaced by the agency’s medical director Dr. Mark Hurst.