For the last 14 months, Dr. Deidre Gifford has been serving dual roles within the Lamont administration. Although her primary position is as commissioner of the Department of Social Services, in May 2020 she agreed to also serve as commissioner of the Department of Public Health in an acting capacity while a search was underway to permanently fill the position.
Now that a new DPH Commissioner has been nominated, Governor Lamont has asked her to take on the additional duty of serving as Senior Advisor to the Governor for Health and Human Services.
In this new role, Gifford will be tasked with coordinating a multi-agency approach among the state’s nine health and human services agencies to improving health and healthcare in Connecticut. Governor Lamont explained that these nine agencies serve many overlapping populations and provide similar programs and functions, however they often are not optimally coordinated. As Senior Advisor, Gifford will convene and lead coordination efforts between these agencies, working closely with the Office of Policy and Management, as well as provide the governor with policy input and recommendations that address issues of health, healthcare costs, quality, and disparities.
Although she is taking on this added responsibility, Gifford’s primary role in the administration will continue to be as commissioner of the Department of Social Services. The commissioners of the nine health and human service agencies will maintain all statutorily defined responsibilities and authorities.