Transitions at DHH

Deputy Secretary Courtney Phillips has been tapped by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts to lead the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Hugh Eley, who retired last September as the assistant secretary of the Office of Aging and Adult Services, will take over as our deputy secretary on April 2, 2015.

Another announcement is that Calder Lynch, Chief of Staff at Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, will be joining Courtney in Nebraska to lead DHHS’s Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care. He will have responsibility for the state’s Medicaid program, home and community services for aging and persons with disabilities and the State Unit on Aging. His last official day at DHH will be March 6, 2015.

Frank Opelka, Jr. has accepted Secretary Kliebert’s offer to take over as chief of staff to help ensure we continue to execute on our reform efforts. Since 2013 Frank has served as the health and social services policy advisor in the Governor’s office where he has worked closely with the department on numerous issues. He is nearing completion of his master of public health (MPH) with a focus on health policy and systems management from LSU. Frank also has a law degree from the University of Notre Dame and worked in private practice before beginning his health care career.