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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: October 31, 2014


NEW CASTLE (Oct. 31, 2014) - Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Rita Landgraf announced a key leadership departure today with the resignation of Kevin Ann Huckshorn, director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH).

Huckshorn, who has served as director since April 2009, said in her resignation letter that she is leaving to spend more time with her parents, due to aging and health concerns.

Huckshorn said it has been her honor to serve the "citizens of Delaware and more specifically, Delawareans who have serious and persistent mental illness, substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders and gambling conditions." In her letter, she said she had fulfilled her promise to stabilize and improve operations at the Delaware Psychiatric Center, and to manage and implement the Settlement Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice over required changes at DPC and reforms in the community-based mental health system.

Huckshorn's departure comes at an important time, with Delaware entering the fourth year of the five-year Settlement Agreement. In addition, with support from Gov. Jack Markell and the General Assembly, DHSS announced this week an increase in drug treatment services for a rising number of Delawareans living with addiction. Landgraf said Melissa Smith, deputy director of DSAMH, and Greg Valentine, DPC director, are well poised to continue to lead those reforms.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.