HHS’ Alibasic and Oestreich Selected for Medicaid Pathways Program

Health and Fitness

September 28, 2022

DES MOINES, IA -– The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) announced Iowa Department of Health and Human Services’ Amela Alibasic and Kera Oestreich as two of 20 rising Medicaid agency leaders competitively selected to participate in the second class of the Medicaid Pathways Program. This Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded executive training initiative, led by CHCS, offers a unique opportunity for a diverse cohort of senior Medicaid leaders who are new to Medicaid leadership roles and/or interested in advancing to a more senior role in the future. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Iowa’s Medicaid program,” said Elizabeth Matney, director of Iowa Medicaid. “Their selection highlights that our next generation of leaders are creative, solution oriented, passionate, and driven to make big changes within the Iowa Medicaid program. I am honored to serve alongside Amela and Kera and look forward to seeing how they continue to make waves and break down barriers to help our members and providers.”

Alibasic leads Medicaid’s eligibility and health insurance premium payment programs bureau. Oestreich manages Medicaid’s contracting bureau.

The pair were chosen to participate in the executive training program along with 18 additional Medicaid leaders from around the country.

“Supporting a diverse pipeline of Medicaid agency leaders is critical to advance health equity for the communities Medicaid serves,” said Marjorie Paloma, MPH, interim vice president, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Our investment in the leadership development of these state officials helps promote innovative thinking, inclusive leadership, and supports their professional development to impact key organizational priorities, particularly related to health equity.”

The Medicaid Pathways Program aims to strengthen participants’ knowledge and skills to effectively serve in complex leadership roles and facilitate the development of senior Medicaid leaders, with a focus on supporting more diversity in leadership positions to reflect the communities served by Medicaid. Individuals chosen to participate in the Medicaid Pathways Class of 2023 represent 16 states and bring a wide range of professional and lived experience to their work.

“It is important that we invest in bolstering the leadership capacity of rising stars within Medicaid agencies across the country,” said Mark Larson, senior vice president at CHCS, former Vermont Medicaid director, and lead faculty for the program. “We are excited to support this class of senior Medicaid leaders to facilitate development of a more diverse and equitable pipeline that better reflects the communities they serve, which can lead to improved health and well-being for Medicaid members.”

During the nine-month-long program, participants will gain skills through following a competency-based leadership framework; engaging in individual and group coaching sessions; and exploring best practices in Medicaid leadership. For more information about the Medicaid Pathways Program, visit https://www.chcs.org/project/medicaid-pathways-programs.