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HHS Fills Two Critical Leadership Roles

HHS Fills Two Critical Leadership Roles

Author: Sarah Ekstrand/Monday, July 18, 2022/Categories: IDPH News

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After formally becoming a new state agency on July 1, 2022, the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces two key leadership positions today. Dr. Robert Kruse will join the agency as the State Medical Director and Sarah Reisetter, J.D. will serve as a Deputy Director and Chief of the newly formed Division of Compliance for HHS.

Merging the Departments of Public Health and Human Services serves to better leverage resources, tools, and specialized expertise that exist within the new agency and allows HHS to better focus on overall population health and community well-being for all Iowans. Both leadership positions support the goal of building out the agency structure for a true health and human services system and addressing the full continuum from prevention to intervention.

“Dr. Kruse’s background in biomedical engineering, public health, family medicine and occupational health give him a broad perspective to approach complex medical and public health problems,” said Kelly Garcia, HHS Director. “In addition to leading our agency alignment process, Sarah Reisetter is a deeply committed public servant with unmatched leadership skills in performance management, quality improvement and public health modernization. As we build this new agency, these roles will be critical and I can’t imagine two more well-suited candidates.”

Dr. Kruse is the current Medical Director of Occupational Health at MercyOne in Des Moines. Previous to his current position, Dr. Kruse was an Assistant Professor and faculty member at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Department of Family Medicine and Community Health in Central New Jersey. He holds both MD and MPH degrees from St. George’s University, School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies.

"I am honored to join the exceptional team of professionals at Iowa’s newly organized Health and Human Services Department. These distinguished individuals demonstrate a steadfast commitment to serving the needs of communities throughout the state.  I look forward to embracing this new role to collaborate with our partners and stakeholders to work together to promote and improve the health of all Iowans," said Dr. Robert Kruse.

Sarah Reisetter has served as the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Deputy Director since August 2016. Prior to that role, she was bureau chief for the Bureau of Professional Licensure. Sarah served as the director of elections for the State of Iowa from 2008-2014. She earned her law degree from the University of Iowa in 2006.

“I am honored for this incredible opportunity to build our new HHS Compliance division. Working across our HHS system, I am confident we can improve, coordinate and streamline services and supports for Iowans who rely on them, and I cannot wait to get started,” said Sarah Reisetter. 

Alignment materials, including the functional organizational chart can be found here.

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