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DHSS Press Release

Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: January 31, 2018


NEW CASTLE (Jan. 31, 2018) -Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Dr. Kara Walker announced the appointment of Marie Nonnenmacher, a former deputy director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS), to lead the division. She will begin her duties Feb. 5.

"I am thrilled that Marie is rejoining our Department as director of DDDS," Secretary Walker said. "Her strong experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities and their families will serve her well in this new role, as will her more than 35 years of public service across many departments in state government. With her Medicaid, budgeting and financial background, she understands how we can leverage federal and state resources to best support the more than 4,000 Delawareans we serve in the Division."

Nonnenmacher served as deputy director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services from November 2012 until her retirement in August 2017. During her tenure, her accomplishments included producing the 2014-2019 renewal of the DDDS federal Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver that received federal approval in less than 90 days. She also amended the DDDS HCBS Medicaid waiver to double the number of recipients and all individuals living in the family home enrolled for waiver benefits. And working with colleagues across DHSS, she developed a cross-disability employment program for young people age 14-25 called Pathways to Employment, funded by Medicaid.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues at DDDS and other stakeholders to continue the course of work on which the division embarked several years ago," Nonnenmacher said. "That work focused on recognizing and supporting the needs of self-advocates and families with loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in the family home. There is much more to be done, however, and I am happy to be able to play a role in the next phase of this important work."

At DHSS, Nonnenmacher formerly served as Chief of Financial Management for the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance. Prior to that, she worked as Cost Recovery Administrator for the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families; Senior Fiscal and Policy Analyst with the Delaware State Budget Office; and Management Analyst with the Department of Labor. Nonnenmacher has a master's of public administration from the College of Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Delaware in public financial management, program evaluation and policy analysis. She has a bachelor of arts from UD in political science and economics.

Previously, Secretary Walker had announced the appointment of Damaris Piliro to lead DDDS, but she had to withdraw for personal reasons.

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.