Bellock named DHFS director
Gov. Bruce Rauner recently named Rep. Patricia Bellock (R-Hinsdale) as the new director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS).
Bellock has been a member of the General Assembly since 1999; and is recognized as one of the body’s leading advocates for Medicaid, health care and social services.
“Illinois is so fortunate to have an advocate for health and human services as dedicated and talented as Patti Bellock,” Rauner said in a press release. “She has been instrumental in virtually every health advancement our state has made in the last two decades and I am looking forward to her leadership of the state’s ongoing effort to reform our delivery systems and improve our outcomes.”
Bellock recently announced plans to retire from the House, where she was the first woman to serve as deputy minority leader in 2013. She replaces interim director Teresa Hursey, who took the position in June as a replacement for Felicia Norwood, who left for the private sector.
Bellock is well-known for her bipartisan, collaborative style in moving Medicaid-related legislation forward, including the Hospital Assessment and the Omnibus Medicaid bill. She has also co-led efforts in the general assembly in recent years to move Illinois toward managed care, according to the release.
“It is an honor to join the talented and dedicated staff of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services,” Bellock said in the release. “I look forward to working with the governor and my colleagues in the general assembly to ensure access to quality health care for Illinois’ most vulnerable population and making our health care delivery systems more efficient and effective.”
Bellock also served as the minority spokesperson on both the House Human Services Committee and the Human Services Appropriations Committee. Her signature achievement in the general assembly was the Save Medicaid Access and Resources Together Act reforms in 2012.
Bellock was also chief co-sponsor of a law aimed at protecting the health of people in hospitals, nursing homes and mental health facilities against infection by requiring the Illinois Department of Public Health to “create rules to reduce rates of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs), and other superbugs,” according to the release.