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Gov. Perdue Names Delia Acting Secretary of DHHS

Secretary Cansler Will Lead New Commission on Affordable Healthcare

For release: Immediate    January 13, 2012
Contact: Chris Mackey, 919-733-5612

RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue today named Al Delia as Acting Secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Delia, who currently serves as the Governor’s senior adviser for policy, will assume the new post in early February.

Secretary Lanier M. Cansler, who has served in that post since the beginning of the Perdue administration, will return to the private sector. He has agreed to chair the Governor’s new Commission on an Affordable Healthcare System for North Carolina.

“Governor Perdue is a tremendous leader,” Cansler said. “I am honored to have served on her team as she steered the state through incredibly difficult times and stabilized North Carolina’s fiscal house. We cut spending, eliminated waste and consolidated agencies – all to make state government more efficient without neglecting our core mission of serving the people.”

“I could always depend on Lanier to help find the best answer for the people of North Carolina,” Gov. Perdue said. “I will miss his calm, wise advice; the state is better for his service. He remains a friend and I will continue to rely on his counsel.”

Delia, a former associate vice chancellor at East Carolina University, has served as Gov. Perdue’s chief policy adviser since 2009.

“Al has an incredible depth of understanding of health care policy and the challenges we face,” Gov. Perdue said. “I have every confidence in his ability to lead the department at this critical time.”

The mandate of the commission on affordable health care is, over several months, to develop a vision to help make North Carolina’s healthcare system more affordable and sustainable, including proposed changes in the law, regulations and the financial reimbursement process, as well as proposals for encouraging individual North Carolinians to live healthier lifestyles.

Cansler was appointed by Perdue to head up DHHS in January 2009. Under his leadership, he renewed the commitment of the department to enhance public confidence in the agency’s ability to successfully meet the challenges and address the needs of North Carolina’s citizens. He shared the Governor’s focus of strengthening the agency with more open management, transparency and with a goal of achieving greater effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of vital services to all North Carolinians.

Cansler, a native of Catawba County, who moved to Asheville, is a certified public accountant who was elected to four terms in the state legislature representing the 51st House District, before serving as Deputy Secretary of DHHS from 2001 to 2005.

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