Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz announced new leaders of the Department of Transitional Assistance, the Department of Youth Services and the office of disability policy and programs.
“This is a strong and experienced team that will serve the people of the Commonwealth well,” said Secretary Polanowicz in a press release. “These leaders will help the Administration advance goals around health care access, youth violence prevention and strengthening our safety net services. I also thank their predecessors for their distinguished service and lasting contributions.”
Framingham resident Regina Marshall will become the new Health Human Services Deputy Assistant Secretary and oversee the Office of Disability Policy and Program.
Marshall has served as chief of staff at the Department of Mental Health since 2008, managing the operations of the states behavioral health programs and employees. In this role she helped advance the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Community First Initiative that seeks to move patients out of institutionalized settings and into community treatment locations.
During her time at Department of Mental Health, Marshall helped open and transfer patients into the state-of-the-art Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital. She is a former legal advocate for the Disability Law Center..
Stacey Monahan, who has has served as interim DTA commissioner since February, 2013, was named commissioner.
Under her leadership, DTA launched a 100 day action plan to ensure that precious taxpayer resources are used appropriately and only as intended, to help clients meet their basic needs. Monahan also launched a Bridge to Stability listening tour across the Commonwealth to gather input from clients and community members on how to best improve services. Prior to joining DTA, Monahan served as chief of staff at HHS since 2011, managing the operations of the largest state secretariat which employs nearly 22,000 staff with a budget of more than $15 billion.
Peter Forbes, a 30-year DYS employee, who started as a direct care worker at the Connelly Secure Treatment Unit and rose up through the ranks as a shift supervisor, caseworker, district manager, regional director, and later as assistant commissioner of operations – and most recently as deputy commissioner, will become the department's new commissioner.
Forbes has been an integral leader in the state’s efforts to reduce youth violence and help high-risk youth gain access to quality education and treatment services. Throughout his career, he has worked directly with youth both in secure facilities and in the community, helping them succeed in education, substance abuse, employment and re-entry programs. A resident of Braintree, Forbes is a former youth counselor who worked for social services agencies in the greater Boston area. He succeeds Ed Dolan as commissioner, who was recently named the state’s commissioner of probation by the Massachusetts Court System.
Kathy Betts will be the new assistant secretary of children youth and families. She has nearly three decades of experience in leadership across HHS agencies, helping children and families across the Commonwealth gain access to needed programs and resources. She most recently served as deputy assistant secretary for HHS, and has worked across agencies in programs ranging from Medicaid, to child welfare, to social services and human services transportation. In 1991, at a time when the state was facing difficult budget decisions, Betts identified around $500 million in unclaimed federal funds to help balance the budget. She was named ABC’s “Person of the Week” by Peter Jennings following the discovery.