Rita M. Landgraf was sworn in as Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services on Jan. 22, 2009. As Secretary, she leads the principal agency charged with keeping Delawareans healthy, ensuring they get the health care they need, and providing children, families and seniors with the essential human services they depend on. She also oversees one of the largest departments in the Delaware government, with an annual budget of more than $1 billion.
Under her leadership, DHSS has provided a wide range of services from health care to child care, to benefits assistance to help families weather the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, all while helping to coordinate the State response to health care reform efforts and responding to the fast changing aging demographics of Delaware.
Since taking office, Secretary Landgraf has been a leader on some of Governor Markell's top priorities to form partnerships across government to improve the lives of Delawareans. As Chair of the Governor's Reentry Task Force, she works closely with the Secretaries of Labor, Education, Housing and Correction to establish I-ADAPT (Individual Assessment, Discharge and Planning Team) Model as Delaware's statewide reentry strategy for adults who are returning to the community from incarceration. As co-chair of the Governor's Long Term Care Housing Task Force, Secretary Landgraf offered the Governor specific policy and legislative recommendations to increase affordable housing, and financing and program options dedicated to improving the lives of seniors and people with disabilities who wish to remain in their homes. For individuals who are aging and those with disabilities, she is dedicated to advancing from policy to practice a wider range of support that will enable them to remain in their communities.
She is co-chair of the Governorís Commission on Building Access to Community-Based Services, Chair of the Health Fund Advisory Council and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the University of Delaware's College of Health Sciences, Health Science Alliance and a member of the Health Care Commission.
For more than 30 years, Secretary Landgraf has been a leader on health care, disabilities, and senior issues, including formerly as executive director of The Arc of Delaware and the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Delaware, and president of AARP Delaware. For her efforts, the University of Delaware inducted her into the University Of Delaware Alumni Wall Of Fame in June 2011.
Secretary Landgraf envisions a Delaware community, which is responsive to all citizens including the aging and those with disabilities and a DHSS that enhances service delivery, mobility options, affordable housing, early childhood education, employment, access to health care and life-enriching opportunities, which would enable citizens to remain and thrive in their communities.