DHS Appoints New Assistant Commissioner for Health Care Admin Unit

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) announced on June 9 that Cynthia MacDonald will become the new assistant commissioner for its Health Care Administration, effective July 26.  

MacDonald worked for DHS in the late '80s and early '90s as an Ombudsman for Older Minnesotans. She then became manager of the Managed Care Negotiations and Contracting Section, and helped lead the team that developed one of the nation’s first 1115 Medicaid waivers, as well as MinnesotaCare and Minnesota Senior Health Options. She was also chief negotiator with the managed care plans.

MacDonald has held senior leadership positions at Blue Cross and Blue Shield Minnesota (BCBSMN) and MN Community Measurement, and served as CEO of Metropolitan Health Plan in Hennepin County. She was vice president for Health Care Service Corporation, serving multiple states, before being recruited by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to work on implementation of the Affordable Care Act through state-based insurance companies. She returned to BCBSMN, and most recently, was recruited by Anthem Blue Cross where she was the CEO of the Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota Medicaid region.

MacDonald holds a degree in human services administration from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a law degree from William Mitchell Law School. 

Julie Marquardt, deputy assistant commissioner, is serving as acting assistant commissioner until MacDonald’s arrival.