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Health Sec. Landgraf to go to UD

Courtesty of DHSS

State health secretary Rita Landgraf will turn to academia after she finishes out her eight years in the Markell Administration.

Landgraf will join the faculty of University of Delaware’s College of Health Sciences and head up its Partnership for Healthy Communities Initiative after leaving public service in January.

In her new role, she will teach in the classroom, as well as apply UD research to solve community health problems through public policy.

During her tenure with the state, Landgraf managed the overhaul of Delaware’s mental health system, which was under federal scrutiny until earlier this month.

She says it’s in far better shape than it was when she was a community advocate, seeing patients lying in the hallway of mental hospitals and seeing those discharged end up homeless.

“It’s not a perfect system of care, but I believe it now has that level of transformation that it can continue to evolve. The one thing that we always have to ensure is that we check it – we never assume that everything is working because it was put on paper,” Landgraf said.

She hopes to work toward drive down the cost of doctor visits and insurance premiums and expanding access to care to everyone – including those with mental health problems and substance abuse issues..

“What I hope to accomplish is to be able to not only remain engaged, but to really be a catalyst that the work that we’re doing in health innovation continues to move forward.”

Landgraf also wants to help those with disabilities lead healthier lives, as they’re more prone to problems as they age than society as a whole.

She will assume her new position at UD after the new governor takes office early next year.