Gov. Maggie Hassan plans to nominate the Department of Health and Human Services Intergovernmental Affairs Director Jeffrey Meyers to replace DHHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas, who is stepping down after an eight-year tenure at the beginning of 2016.
Meyers is a regular presence at the State House, especially around discussions on the state budget and other health policy debates.
In an announcement about the nomination, Hassan’s office called attention to Meyers’ work implementing the state’s Medicaid expansion plan and for his expertise around health law. In the past, Meyers served as chief legal counsel for former Gov. John Lynch and legal counsel for the New Hampshire State Senate, according to a press release issued by the governor’s office.
“Jeffrey Meyers has a wide range of experience working across all levels of government with stakeholders and legislators from both parties and developing and implementing complex initiatives during his time at the department, as well as significant expertise on matters of health law,” Hassan said in a statement on the nomination.
Hassan plans to formally nominate Meyers at a special executive council meeting scheduled for January 4. At the meeting, Hassan will ask the executive council to allow Meyers to temporarily serve as the acting DHHS commissioner when Toumpas’s term concludes at the end of that same week. If approved, Meyers would be able to assume the role from Jan. 8 to Feb. 1.
The council will be able to vote on whether to officially confirm Meyers for the position at a later date, following a public hearing, according to Hassan's office.
According to Hassan's office, the search for a new DHHS commissioner involved former State Senator Kathleen Sgambati (also a former DHHS deputy commissioner), former DHHS Commissioner Don Shumway, former state Rep. Paul Spiess, Endowment for Health President Yvonne Goldsberry and former Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon.