A Champion Fills a Critical Role at CMS – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog


By Shelby Gonzales Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

In 2008, Linda Nablo was recognized as a Child
Health Champion
for her
relentless work to improve children’s health coverage programs in
Virginia.  Having known Linda for many years, I couldn’t think of anyone
more deserving of this honor.  As you can imagine, I was quite thrilled to
hear that this champion will now be playing a key role at CMS as the director
of the Division of State Children’s Health Insurance Programs in
the Center for Medicaid, CHIP and Survey & Certification.


Because of her vast experience and accomplishments as a
lifelong advocate for children, Linda was tapped to join the “Child Health
Dream Team” in Governor Warner’s Administration.  As the director of
the Division of Maternal and Child Health, she was specifically tasked with
streamlining and invigorating
Virginia’s FAMIS programs (VA’s CHIP and Children’s Medicaid program). 
Accountable to a Governor who was heavily invested in seeing that all eligible
children were enrolled and had access to care, it was not unusual for Linda to
get surprise and often public inquiries from Gov. Warner wanting to know
exactly how many kids had been enrolled in any given month–Linda never
disappointed.  Linda strategically made significant changes to state
policies, protocols and data systems and her efforts paid off. During her
tenure, enrollment in the FAMIS programs grew by 90,000.

Having had the opportunity to witness Linda as she led
efforts to simplify, modernize and re-energize children’s health coverage
programs in Virginia, I’m confident that she will be successful in her new role
as she takes on the challenges of enhancing support that CMS provides to states
and overseeing the ongoing implementation of CHIPRA and aspects of the
Affordable Care Act as they relate to CHIP. 

The views expressed by Guest Bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Children and Families.

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