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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Medicaid Commissioner Shannon R. Turner Resigns

Press Release Date:  Friday, May 19, 2006  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Vikki Franklin, (502)564-6786  

Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) Commissioner Shannon R. Turner has resigned her post, effective May 31, to accept a position as associate executive vice president with University Health Care, Inc., a managed care organization that operates the Passport Health Plan in the Louisville region.

“It has been an honor to serve the vulnerable Kentuckians who rely on Medicaid for health care,” said Turner. “I am proud of the significant improvements we have been able to make in Kentucky Medicaid under the leadership of Governor Fletcher. I have been privileged to serve with an excellent team and will treasure my time in state government.”

CHFS Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell said, “Shannon’s depth of knowledge of Medicaid and best practices in the private sector have been a tremendous asset to our efforts to transform Kentucky Medicaid into a more sustainable program. The time she has invested in this program will serve her well in this new opportunity.”

Turner has served as Medicaid commissioner since September 2004. Prior to that, she served as deputy commissioner for DMS, a position to which she was appointed in February 2004 by Governor Ernie Fletcher.

During Turner’s time with the administration she oversaw implementation of Governor Fletcher’s Medicaid Modernization initiative, including development of the recently-approved KyHealth Choices program designed to help control growing costs in the Medicaid program while improving the quality of care for its 700,000 members.

"We're excited that Shannon is joining the University Health Care/Passport team,” said University Health Care Chairman/CEO and University of Louisville Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Larry Cook, M.D. “She shares our vision that a patient-focused plan like Passport can continue to improve the quality of care provided to our members, while holding down increases in cost to an acceptable level."

Executive Vice President of University Health Care Robert Slaton said, “I've known her since her days at Bluegrass Family Health and have always been impressed with her intellect, wit and work ethic. We know that she had a lot of other opportunities and are very pleased to have her pick us."

A native of Harlan County, Turner is a graduate of Georgetown College and the University of Kentucky College Of Law. She lives in Lancaster with her husband, Michael, and son, Patrick.

Prior to joining state government, she served as director of governmental affairs for Bluegrass Family Health and compliance administrator for UnitedHealthcare of Kentucky. Turner has also previously been vice chair of the Kentucky Association of Health Plans and served on the Health Insurance Advisory Council.



Last Updated 5/19/2006