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Governor Dayton Appoints Jan Malcolm to Serve as Health Commissioner

1/30/2018 11:22:30 AM

As Commissioner, Malcolm will lead the Department of Health’s efforts to protect and improve the health of all Minnesotans
Malcolm brings decades of public and non-profit health management experience to leadership of Health Department
Commissioner Malcolm will continue efforts to repair the Department’s Office of Health Facility Complaints to create strong systems that protect the health and safety of seniors
ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton today announced the appointment of Jan Malcolm to serve as Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Malcolm is a public health expert with significant management experience in both the public and non-profit sectors. She previously served as Minnesota Health Commissioner from 1999 to 2003. As part of the agency’s mission to protect and maintain the health of all Minnesotans, Malcolm will continue working with the Department of Human Services to strengthen the Office of Health Facility Complaints, and to swiftly and thoroughly eliminate a backlog of elder abuse reports.
“Jan Malcolm brings exceptional experience in public and non-profit health management to the Minnesota Department of Health,” said Governor Dayton. “Her expertise will be invaluable as the Department works to protect and improve the health of all Minnesotans, especially our seniors. I thank her for her willingness to undertake this vitally important challenge.”
Malcolm’s appointment is effective January 30, 2018. Commissioner Malcolm will succeed Acting Commissioner Dan Pollock, who has served in the role since December 19, 2017.
“The Minnesota Department of Health plays an essential role in protecting and improving the health of all Minnesotans, from assuring the safety of the water we drink to the care we receive,” said Commissioner Malcolm. “Public health serves everyone in our state in some way, literally every day. I am honored to once again serve the people of Minnesota as Health Commissioner. I will work hard to earn the trust of Minnesotans that their health, and that of their loved ones, is in good hands.”
Prioritizing the Health, Safety, and Well-being of Minnesota Seniors
Governor Dayton today reiterated his serious concerns over neglect, mistreatment, and abuse allegations involving Minnesota seniors and other vulnerable adults. To resolve these challenges, the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Office of the Inspector General and the Health Department are working together to develop new systems to improve the way elder abuse investigations are handled. To learn more, CLICK HERE.
Commissioner Malcolm emphasized today that addressing allegations of elder abuse will be among her top priorities as she assumes leadership of the Health Department.
“The Department of Health plays a critical role in protecting the health and well-being of all Minnesotans, especially its most vulnerable citizens,” said Health Commissioner Malcolm. “I will work closely with Human Services Commissioner Piper to strengthen the Office of Health Facility Complaints. We are doing everything possible to eliminate the backlog of nearly 1,000 open investigations of reported elder abuse reports by the end of this year, and are already making important progress. This is critical to begin the hard work of restoring Minnesotans’ trust in the safety of their loved ones.”
Yesterday, AARP Minnesota released a new report with guidance on how the state can better serve Minnesota seniors who are cared for in nursing home and assisted living settings. Governor Dayton and Commissioner Malcolm will be working with senior care advocates, health care providers, and legislative leaders to thoroughly review the work group’s recommendations and implement needed reforms and investments in the upcoming legislative session.
The Minnesota Department of Health also is working with Minnesota IT Services to implement a new timesaving, electronic records management system for the Office of Health Facility Complaints. The new record recording system will help Health Department move away from time-intensive and wasteful work processes that relied on outdated, paper-based systems. This will allow for more timely results, communication with families and providers, and quick and effective responses to all allegations of elder maltreatment, abuse, and neglect.
About Commissioner Jan Malcolm
Commissioner Malcolm is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, where she co-directs a national research and leadership development program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Previously, Malcolm helped develop initiatives to strengthen the nation’s public health system as a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Malcolm served as CEO of the Courage Center and as President of the Courage Kenny Foundation following the merger of Courage Center and the Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute. She has also worked as Vice President of Public Affairs and Philanthropy at Allina Health. From 1999 to 2003, Malcolm served as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health. Throughout her career, Malcolm has been active in state and national health care and public health associations, and has served on numerous government commissions on health care access and quality.
Jan is a graduate of Dartmouth College, and lives in Minneapolis.
A photo of Commissioner Malcolm is available here.
About the Minnesota Department of Health
Minnesota’s public health system is known as one of the best in the nation. It is built upon a strong partnership between the Minnesota Department of Health, local public health agencies, tribal governments, and a range of other organizations. The Minnesota Department of Health’s mission is to protect, maintain, and improve the health of all Minnesotans. The Department employs 1,500 public health professionals, who work every day to ensure the health and safety of our state. To learn more about the Health Department and its mission, click here.
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