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Head of Illinois' Healthcare and Family Services department is stepping down

Julie Hamos, director of the Illinois Department Healthcare and Family Services, discusses health care with the Sun-Times Editorial Board in September 2013. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

The head of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is stepping down next month.

Julie Hamos is resigning from her position as director of the department, effective Jan. 9, an Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services spokeswoman said.

Hamos could not be reached for comment.

Among other things, since becoming director in April 2010, Hamos was in charge of shifting at least 50 percent of Medicaid’s 3 million people into care coordination programs by Jan. 1, 2015. Many other states already have such a program in place, actions that are supposed to lead to better care for Medicaid patients and lower costs for states.

Medicaid is one of the costliest expenses for cash-strapped Illinois.

Hamos came under fire for implementing cuts that lawmakers had approved for the Medicaid program to repair a long-term deficit in the state’s program.

For that reason, some black and Latino senators said they would not support the Senate’s confirmation of Hamos for another term as director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. But Gov. Pat Quinn went ahead and renominated her in March.

Before she became director, Hamos was state representative for the 18th District for over 11 years. In the General Assembly, she served as chief sponsor for key health initiatives.

Representatives for Quinn and Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner could not be reached for comment.