BATON ROUGE - The Department of Health Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein announced today the appointment of Kathy Kliebert as deputy secretary of the department upon the departure of Anthony Keck.
"We are thrilled to have someone with Kathy's experience and vision assume this role. She brings a tremendous amount of energy to the position and I look forward to working closely with her as we continue to reshape the delivery of healthcare services in Louisiana," Secretary Greenstein said.
Kliebert currently serves as assistant secretary of the newly-formed Office of Behavioral Health where she has overseen the transition of combining the offices of mental health and addictive disorders to better serve Louisianians in need. Prior to that appointment last year, Kliebert served as assistant secretary for the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) since 2004 where she successfully led a multi-year transition to move individuals out of institutions into more effective and appropriate community-based services, reducing the institution population by more than 26 percent.
Prior to taking her role as assistant secretary of OCDD, Kliebert served as diversification director of the Metropolitan/Peltier-Lawless Development Centers in New Orleans and Thibodaux where she led the expansion of community-based options for people with developmental disabilities. She has 17 years of experience as a licensed clinical social worker and has a master's degree in social work. She serves on the Children's Cabinet Advisory Board and with the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
"Kathy has demonstrated time and time again an uncanny ability to successfully lead large-scale transformations that put the focus on people's needs first," Greenstein said. "She will bring that same intense focus on change to this new role."
Kliebert said she looks forward to the new challenges facing her as deputy secretary.
"It has been a great honor to serve the people of Louisiana for the past six years, and I am eager to begin the work of deputy secretary," Kliebert said. "We have some difficult challenges ahead as we work with our communities to build more effective systems to deliver services to Louisianians who rely on us. But we also have a great opportunity to continue and improve upon the good work that has been done in the past several years to reshape how we deliver those services."
As deputy secretary, Kliebert will be responsible for overseeing all of the department's major program offices, including behavioral health, aging and adult services, citizens for developmental disabilities and public health, as well as the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf, human services districts, and the state's Birth Outcomes Initiative. She will also work across agencies to continue development of the Coordinated System of Care, an initiative to better coordinate services for children in crisis. The deputy secretary also plays a critical role in development of the budget for each program office and the agency as a whole.
"I thank Tony for his dedication and leadership," Greenstein said. "He has led significant changes for the people of Louisiana - from the creation of the Office of Behavioral Health to reshaping the Office of Public Health, and we wish him well in his new endeavor. It has been a pleasure for me to work with someone with such vision who is also able to execute so adeptly on that vision. And it is an honor for Louisiana to send someone to lead another state's health department."
Keck will officially step down as of Jan. 21, at which time Kliebert will take over. Secretary Greenstein will immediately begin a search for a new assistant secretary of the Office of Behavioral Health.
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's blog at www.myhealthla.org, Twitter at http://twitter.com/La_Health_Dept and search for the Louisiana Department of Health on Facebook.