ALBANY, N.Y. /New York Netwire/ — N.Y. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the appointments of Courtney Burke as the administration’s new Deputy Secretary for Health, Laurie Kelley as the Acting Commissioner of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and Dr. Ann Sullivan to serve as the Acting Commissioner of the Office of Mental Health in November 2013.

Governor Andrew M. CuomoThe Governor intends to nominate both Ms. Kelley and Dr. Sullivan to serve as Commissioners of OPWDD and OMH, respectively, during the next legislative session. Their nominations are subject to confirmation by the New York State Senate.

“Throughout their careers, each of these individuals has dedicated themselves to protecting and preserving the health of all New Yorkers,” said Governor Cuomo.

“Ms. Burke’s excellent work at the OPWDD and her key role in the creation of the Justice Center make her exceptionally qualified for her new role as Deputy Secretary for Health. Ms. Kelley’s time as head of the Ulster-Greene ARC and her experience caring for people with developmental disabilities make her an excellent choice to be the next Commissioner of the OPWDD. Finally, Dr. Sullivan’s experience at Elmhurst and Queens Hospital Centers, which serves 2 million New Yorkers, will allow the OMH to excel under her leadership and guidance. I thank these three committed public servants for taking on these positions, and look forward to their continued work in our administration.”

“I am excited to continue my work with Governor Cuomo to ensure the highest quality care and services for individuals in our state who need it the most and to further improving our entire health care system,” said Ms. Burke. “I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for appointing me to this position and look forward to continuing our progress.”

“I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for the honor of serving the people of the state of New York, especially our vulnerable population,” said Ms. Kelley. “In the last two and a half years, our state has made great strides in ensuring the proper protection and care for people with developmental disabilities. I hope to build on that progress and achieve even more in the immediate future.”

“I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for this opportunity to serve as the Commissioner of Mental Health and to work to provide quality mental health services for all New Yorkers,” said Dr. Sullivan. “I look forward to the new direction set by the Medicaid Redesign Team and especially the focus on integrated care and real recovery from mental illness.”

Courtney Burke most recently served as the Commissioner of OPWDD. Previously, she was the Director of the Rockefeller Institute’s New York State Health Policy Research Center, the public policy research arm of the State University of New York. Prior to joining the Institute, Ms. Burke was employed by the New York State Office of Advocate for Persons with Disabilities for several years, including as the senior policy analyst, and by the New York State Department of Health.

During her tenure as Commissioner of OPWDD, Ms. Burke:

•Decreased the number of individuals with developmental disabilities living in developmental centers operated by OPWDD by 19%between April 2011 and February 2013 and moved them into more integrated settings. Fewer than 1,000 people are now living in campus-based institutions operated by OPWDD.
•Implemented numerous reforms resulting in an overall 21% decline in allegations of abuse and serious incidents at state and nonprofit provider agencies when comparing the most recent six-month period ending March 1, 2013 to the six-month time frame ending September 1, 2011.
•Reduced the use of physical interventions in state-operated programs by 19% in the six-month period from August 2012 to January 2013 as compared to the previous six months.
•Submitted the People First Medicaid Waiver to the federal government to restructure OPWDD’s delivery system to one that provides more integrated and better managed supports and services.
•Reached a system transformation agreement with the federal government that makes funding for services more transparent while also increasing self-directed services, employment, and community living.
•Returned 67% of eligible individuals with development disabilities to New York from out-of-state residential schools since July 2011.
•Developed core competencies, and a code of ethics for all direct support professionals serving people with developmental disabilities in New York.
•Created a provider performance report card, which is publicly available on OPWDD’s website.

Ms. Burke is succeeded by Laurie Kelley who will serve as the Acting Commissioner of OPWDD.

Laurie Kelley has been the Executive Director for the Ulster-Greene ARC for eleven years, where she led the Taconic region on Portal Initiatives and Individualized Supports and oversaw a $50 million budget and over 1,000 employees. During her tenure as Executive Director, she reduced physical interventions in behaviorally challenged individuals by more than 80%. In addition, Ms. Kelley initiated successful regional collaboratives to share IT departments and achieve network accreditation among ARC agencies. Before joining ARC, she served as Vice President of Business Development, Professional Services, and General Services at Benedictine Hospital where she worked for 19 years. Ms. Kelley received a Bachelor’s Degree in Food and Nutrition from the University of Iowa, as well as a Master’s in Business Administration from Union College.

Dr. Ann Marie Sullivan, M.D. is the Senior Vice President for the Queens Health Network of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. As Senior Vice President, she is responsible for Elmhurst and Queens Hospital Centers, two public hospitals which serve a community of over 2 million New York City residents. In addition, Dr. Sullivan is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai.

Dr. Sullivan is an active advocate for her patients and her profession, is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and has served as the Speaker of the American Psychiatric Association’s Assembly and on its Board of Trustees. She is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, a member of the American College of Psychiatrists and the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry.

Dr. Sullivan is an appointee of the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council and its Mental Health Services Committee, the New York State Medicaid Redesign Team and the National Quality Forum Hospital Measures Group. She is also on the Board of Directors of the New York City Mental Health Association.

Dr. Sullivan attended New York University Medical School and completed her Psychiatric Residency at New York University/Bellevue Hospital in1978. She lives in New York City with her husband Stephen who is also a psychiatrist and has two daughters, Elizabeth and Christine.

John Tauriello, Esq. will serve as Acting Commissioner for OMH from August 1, 2013 until Dr. Sullivan’s arrival in November. Mr. Tauriello is a current Deputy Commissioner of OMH, where he serves as its Counsel. He is a nationally recognized leader in mental hygiene law and a life-long advocate for individuals with mental illness. He will take over for Kristin M. Woodlock who will be leaving OMH at the end of July to join her family who recently relocated to New York City.