Roderick L. Bremby was appointed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy as Commissioner of the Department of Social Services (DSS) in March 2011. The Governor’s nomination of Mr. Bremby for a four-year term as agency head was unanimously confirmed by the Connecticut Senate. On December 12, 2014, Governor Malloy announced that he intends to re-appoint Commissioner Bremby to a second term as Commissioner (www.governor.ct.gov/malloy/cwp/view.asp?A=4010&Q=557940).
Commissioner Bremby joined Connecticut state government after an extensive public-sector career in Kansas and Texas, and academic service at the University of Kansas.
From 2003 to 2010, Commissioner Bremby served as the Secretary (chief executive officer) of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, that state’s combined public health and environmental protection agency. Appointed by Governor Kathleen Sebelius, he led programs dedicated to providing disease surveillance and prevention efforts, bioterrorism planning guidance, local and rural health assistance, health care and environmental information, and statewide health promotional campaigns. In addition, he oversaw the regulation of public and environmental health functions, including child care centers, hospitals and medical facilities, laboratories, food service, establishments, landfills, confined animal feeding operations, and construction and operating permits for all companies with the potential to pollute the environment.
From 2000 to 2003, Commissioner Bremby served as an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Kansas, where he also served as Associate Director of the university’s Work Group on Health Promotion and Community Development, and coordinated the launch of the Institute for Community Health and Development.
At the municipal government level, Commissioner Bremby was Assistant City Manager of Lawrence, Kansas, from 1990 to 2000, serving as chief operating officer responsible for police, fire and medical, public works, water and sewer, parks and recreation, finance, information systems, airport management, and budget preparation functions. The Commissioner’s municipal experience also includes four years as an Assistant to the City Manager in Fort Worth, Texas.
Commissioner Bremby has contributed volunteer services to many civic endeavors, including service on the Boards of Kansas Action for Children, and the Kansas Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency. He co-founded the Lawrence Partnership for Children and Youth, a group fostering community collaboration on behalf of the well-being of children and youth. He is a past president of the Lawrence, Kansas, branch of the NAACP.
During his first four years at the Connecticut Department of Social Services, Commissioner Bremby has directed initiatives in such areas as health care program restructuring, modernization of technology and business processes for improved client service delivery, and implementation of budget and legislative program changes. The Commissioner has worked with the Governor’s Office, Office of Policy and Management and Department of Administrative Services’ Bureau of Enterprise Systems and Technology to target reinvestment in the agency’s staffing and technology infrastructure during a time of increased applications and caseloads.
Accomplishments have included:
- Successful transition of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program from primarily for-profit managed care contractors to a streamlined administrative-services system, bringing service enhancements and economies, including 14.6% increase in primary care providers, 11.4% increase in specialists, 12.7% increase in dentists, reduced emergency department usage and 2.7% reduced per member/per month cost.
- Developing quality initiatives in Medicaid, including Person-Centered Medical Homes, Intensive Care Management (reducing in-patient admissions for participants by 43% and emergency department use by 6%, tobacco cessation incentives, heath equity review, prevention strategies.
- Implementation of Connecticut’s Medicaid expansion under the national Affordable Care Act, extending health coverage to 63,000 additional low-income adults without dependent children since January 2014, for a total of about 175,000, while leading DSS coordination with Access Health CT.
- Implementing a modernized application process to digitized over 7.5 million incoming documents and offer first-time online options for applicants and clients.
- Planning and development of integrated eligibility management system to replace agency’s 1980s-era eligibility system, utilizing 90% federal funding.
- Building agency capacity that has enabled service to over 400,000 Connecticut residents eligible for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and over 750,000 eligible for Medicaid, among other services.
- Expansion of home-care services and development of Connecticut’s Strategic Plan to Rebalance Long-Term Services and Supports.
Commissioner Bremby is a member of several executive panels in state government, including the Governor’s Health Care Cabinet, Access Health CT Board of Directors, Health Technology Work Group, Basic Health Plan Work Group, Connecticut Employment and Training Commission, and Interagency Council for Ending the Achievement Gap.
The Commissioner holds a bachelor of arts degree in communication studies and psychology, and a master of public administration degree, both from the University of Kansas.
Awards include the national Sierra Club’s 2011 Distinguished Achievement Award; the Roderick Bremby Award for Exceptional Courage by a Public Official, 2011, from the Breaking the Silence Conference, a Kansas environmental public interest organization; the 2010 Kansas Public Health Association President’s Award; the 2009 Kansas Natural Resource Council Environmental Action Award; and the 2008 Kansas Public Administrator of the Year recognition from that state’s Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration.
About the Department of Social Services
DSS delivers a wide variety of services to children, families, adults, people with disabilities and the elderly, including health care coverage, food and nutrition assistance, child support enforcement, independent living services, energy assistance, and program grants. DSS administers Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, among others. With a staff of about 1,900, the department provides services to more than 950,000 Connecticut residents of all ages.
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Updated December 2014