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Gov. Mills taps Maine DHHS deputy commissioner to temporarily lead agency

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Gov. Mills taps Maine DHHS deputy commissioner to temporarily lead agency

May 24, 2024 | 1:42 pm ET
By AnnMarie Hilton
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Gov. Mills taps Maine DHHS deputy commissioner to temporarily lead agency
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Sara Gagne-Holmes, current deputy commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, will serve as acting commissioner until Gov. Janet Mills announces a formal nominee. (Maine DHHS photo)

Deputy Commissioner Sara Gagné-Holmes will serve as the acting commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services starting June 1, according to a news release from the governor’s office. 

The appointment by Gov. Janet Mills comes after outgoing Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew announced her resignation from the post to serve as the director of health care reform for the Century Foundation, a think tank in Washington, D.C., and to teach at Harvard University. 

“I look forward to the opportunity to build on Commissioner Lambrew’s transformative leadership of the Department and to advancing our vital work during this transition,” Gagné-Holmes said.  

Gagné-Holmes, a Sanford native, has been in her current role with the department’s senior leadership team since 2019. She went to Bowdoin College for her undergraduate degree and graduated from the University of Maine School of Law. Gagné-Holmes practiced health care law before serving as a health policy and legal advisor under former Gov. John Baldacci. 

“Having served as Deputy Commissioner for more than five years, she deeply understands the operations of the Department and will ensure that it remains in capable hands as I continue to consider candidates to succeed Commissioner Lambrew and carry forward the important work of advancing the health and welfare of Maine people,” Mills said.

The governor is expected to name an official nominee to replace Lambrew in the coming weeks. That person will go before the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee for a hearing and receive final confirmation by the Maine Senate.