Delaware Secretary of Health to take University of Delaware position

Secretary of Health Rita Landgraf will leave the health department for a UD position. (Courtesy of the Department of Health and Social Services).

Secretary of Health Rita Landgraf will leave the health department for a UD position. (Courtesy of the Department of Health and Social Services).

Delaware’s Secretary of Health Rita Landgraf will leave the Department of Health and Social Services next year for a position with the University of Delaware.

The department announced Monday Landgraf has accepted a position as professor of practice and distinguished health and social services administrator in residence with the University’s College of Health Sciences.

“I am excited to bring what I’ve learned in the field to the classrooms of the College of Health Sciences to help grow the next generation of health and social services professionals,” Landgraf said in a statement.

“Meeting communities where they are has been one of the hallmarks of my tenure at DHSS, and I am fortunate to be able to help build those partnerships with Dean (Kathleen) Matt and the University of Delaware. I thank Governor Markell for the opportunity to serve the people of Delaware during his administration. For me, public service has been my greatest honor. Now, my alma mater will provide the next chapter in my career of service to others.”

Landgraf, who graduated from the university in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in community and family services, has been the state’s Secretary of Health since 2009. Since then she has worked to improve mental health services, increase community based services for seniors and individuals with disabilities, tackled the state’s heroin epidemic and worked on the expansion of Medicaid and the creation of Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace.

“Rita’s entire career reflects a passionate dedication to improving the quality of life of and increasing opportunities for individuals who most often find themselves on the fringes of society,” Gov. Jack Markell, D-Delaware, said in a statement. “I am delighted that she will continue to transform lives for the better across the community and make an impact on our next generation of leaders through her new work at UD.”

In her new position, Landgraf will also serve as the director of the UD Partnership for Healthy Communities, helping link health sciences and public policy as CHS works to address community health challenges.  

“We are thrilled to have Rita join our college. She shares a common goal with CHS – improve the lives of all Delawareans,” said Kathleen Matt, dean of the College of Health Sciences, in a statement. “She will work across UD as we continue our journey of health care innovation and transformation. It was a great pleasure to partner with Rita during her time with DHSS. We are honored to have someone of this caliber and experience join our team. We now look forward to working together on university work, research and education.” 

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