PROVIDENCE, R.I. \u2014 Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Womazetta Jones recently named Deputy Secretary Benjamin Shaffer as the new Medicaid Director for the state of Rhode Island.\n\nShaffer has been the Acting Medicaid Director since February, following the departure of Patrick Tigue. He will continue to serve as Deputy Secretary until that position is filled.\n\n\u00a0\n\n\u201cThe state is fortunate to have someone of Ben\u2019s caliber who is able to step in and lead such a complex and vital program,\u201d said Secretary Jones. \u201cI am confident that his dedication to operational excellence, responsible fiscal management, and smart policy will enhance our Medicaid program by ensuring access to benefits, maintaining provider financial stability, and promoting provider-centric care with a focus on social determinants of health.\u201d\n\n\u00a0\n\nSecretary Jones pointed to Shaffer\u2019s leadership during the state\u2019s response to COVID-19.\u00a0During the public health crisis, Medicaid has submitted more than a dozen federal authority requests documents, containing more than 70 individual waivers. These steps have been critical to infusing millions of dollars into nursing homes, assisted-living, and group homes that are on the frontlines of the pandemic.\n\nShaffer had previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Medicaid Director at EOHHS, as well as Director of Performance Management for the state\u2019s Office of Management and Budget. Prior to state service, he was a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group.\n\n\u00a0\n\n\u201cI am honored to be taking this role to lead Rhode Island\u2019s Medicaid program,\u201d said Shaffer.\u00a0\u201cThrough this public health emergency and beyond, my focus will be on ensuring access to benefits, maintaining the financial health of safety-net providers and their workers, and driving program and process improvements throughout our operation.\u201d\n\nShaffer, who lives with his wife in Providence, earned a bachelor\u2019s from Yale University, a master\u2019s in public administration from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and a master\u2019s in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania\u2019s The Wharton School.