Two administrators in Culver admin land new roles

An announcement today: Gene Meyer, a Republican who was the mayor of West Des Moines just before he served as Governor Chet Culver’s public safety commissioner, has a new job with the Greater Des Moines Partnership.  Several weeks ago, Wellmark announced Tom Newton, who had served as director of the Department of Public Health in the Culver Administration, was Wellmark’s new “director of network engagement.” 

Read the details in the news releases below:

February 18, 2011
GREATER DES MOINES – The Greater Des Moines Partnership is pleased to announce
Gene Meyer will be joining the Partnership staff as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. The
position will support the Partnership’s roles in implementing the region’s strategic vision plan,
“Capital Crossroads: A Vision for Greater Des Moines & Central Iowa,” and in elevating the alliance between business and education in central Iowa, and in developing strategic direction for the next phase of the Partnership’s work.. Meyer begins his duties on March 1, 2011.

Meyer has extensive professional and political experience in regional strategy development and
implementation. He was elected to the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education, serving three terms between 1988 and 1997. Meyer was elected Mayor of West Des Moines, serving between 1997 and 2006. While mayor, he served on the Metropolitan Advisory Council, the Metropolitan Planning Organization and led a collaborative effort to consolidate services in western suburban cities. His professional career spans 37 years of service to the State of Iowa’s Department of Public Safety, most recently as Commissioner under the appointment
of Governor Chet Culver in 2007.

“The Capital Crossroads visioning will provide our region with a whole new set of expectations
on how we define ourselves and how we approach the future,” said Martha Willits, the Partnership President and CEO. “Gene’s experience will be invaluable to building the business case and the political will to capitalize on the opportunities ahead of us. We’re delighted he’s joining our team.”

Meyer earned his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa in 1973 and graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy in Quantico, Virginia in 1980. He earned his Masters in Public Administration from Drake University in 1981.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership, serving Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marshall, Polk and Warren Counties and over 4,200 business members from 22 regional Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, is united to drive economic growth with one voice, one mission, and as one region.

Tom Newton joins Wellmark

Former Iowa public health director to lead engagement efforts with network physicians, hospitals, and health care organizations

DES MOINES, IA (January 31, 2011) – Tom Newton has joined Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield as director of network engagement.

Newton, former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), will be responsible for engaging Wellmark’s provider community – working with hospitals and physicians to better understand their business challenges, developing new programs, and building a strong foundation of quality health care in Iowa and South Dakota.

“One of Wellmark’s goals is to make Iowa and South Dakota healthier states,” says Laura Jackson, executive vice president for health care strategy and policy. “Tom’s unique background and strategic focus will help Wellmark continue as well as enhance its collaboration with health care providers in new and different ways, with a shared vision to improve the health of our communities.

“He has worked with an array of health care stakeholders and policymakers to implement Iowa’s Health Care Reform Act of 2008 specifically addressing issues of workforce, health information technology, medical homes, prevention and chronic care management and community wellness.”

Newton holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental planning and political science, and a master’s degree in public policy, both from the University of Northern Iowa. He is also a graduate of the State Health Leadership Institute, a program of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Newton joined the IDPH in 2000. Prior to his position as director, he served as division director for environmental health, and as a community health consultant. While at IDPH, Newton led a statewide effort to modernize the delivery of public health services at the state and local levels.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


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