Steven Costantino, Rhode Island's former secretary of Health and Human Services, was appointed by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin on Monday as commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access. The department is responsible for Vermont's publicly funded insurance programs.
“We’re excited to welcome Steven to the team and to Vermont,” Shumlin said in a statement. “I have known Steven since our days serving in our respective state legislatures and understand him to be a dynamic, hands-on leader. His experience in both the executive and legislative branches of government will serve him and Vermonters well in this position.”
Legislative approval is not needed for the appointment.
Costantino, a former House Finance Committee chairman, placed third in a run for mayor of Providence in 2010. Former governor Lincoln Chafee picked him to be HHS secretary. According to a statement released by Shumlin, "In this position, Costantino was involved in every phase of implementing Rhode Island’s Medicaid expansion and health insurance marketplace, HealthSource RI."
As RIPR first reported in December, Governor Gina Raimondo picked former lieutenant governor Elizabeth Roberts to be the state's next secretary of Health and Human Services.
Vermont's current commissioner of Vermont Health Access, Mark Larson, announced in January he would step down in March.
In a statement, Costantino said, "Vermont is known nationally for its leadership, innovation and creative approach to Medicaid. I am so excited and honored to serve as the Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access. I look forward to drawing upon my successful experience in Rhode Island to help Vermont develop its healthcare reform efforts."