Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk will soon become the new regional director of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has appointed Falk to oversee the agency’s programs and services in Region Five, which includes Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.
Officials say Falk will play a major role in implementing the Obama health care reform act in the Midwest. She will also work closely with federal, state, local, and tribal leaders on a variety of concerns. The regional HHS office is based in Chicago.
Falk served as Dane County’s chief executive for 14 years, and she spent another 14 years in the state Justice Department, most notably as a public intervener representing the people in environmental lawsuits. In her most recent election bid, Falk lost a Democratic primary last year in the recall contest against Republican Governor Scott Walker.