Department of Health and Human Services CEO Kerry Winterer said Thursday that 60-year-old Vivianne Chaumont, Director of the Department’s Division of Medicaid and Long Term Care, passed away after a battle with cancer.
“The Department has lost a director who was a dedicated public servant, one who cared deeply about the program she oversaw and the people who receive those services,” said Winterer. “Vivianne’s goal was to manage the program so finite resources could serve as many Nebraskans as possible. That meant sometimes she had to make difficult decisions, but she was willing to make them for the good of the program that served over 230,000 people who depend on Medicaid.”
Chaumont was appointed by Gov. Heineman in May 2007 to serve as the director of the HHS System’s Finance and Support agency and transitioned to director of the Medicaid and Long-Term Care division July 1, 2007, in the newly created Dept. of Health and Human Services.
“We appreciate Vivianne’s work on behalf of Nebraskans during the last 7 years as the Director of the Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care,” said Gov. Dave Heineman. “She had a long and dedicated career in public service, and she should be remembered for her commitment to others during her life. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.”
Winterer said Chaumont was especially proud of bringing to Nebraska the federal PACE program, which helps older Nebraskans coordinate their health care needs in community settings as an alternative to nursing home care.
“Vivianne will be missed,” said Winterer. “We hope she is remembered as the strong, caring, capable, forceful and fun woman we all knew.”
The news release said Vivianne Chaumont came to the United States from Cuba at the age of 8. She received her bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of California-Davis, and from 1980 to 1984 was counsel for the California Dept. of Health Services.
The department said she served from 1985 to 2001 as a Colorado Assistant Attorney General with responsibilities as chief counsel for the state’s Medicaid program and other public assistance and health programs. From 2001 to 2005, she was the director of the Medicaid Assistance Office in the Colorado Dept. of Health Care Policy and Financing.
According to the news release, prior to beginning her work in Nebraska, Chaumont was the CEO of ValueOptions of AZ but chose to return to public service. She said she enjoyed public sector work and saw policy making as a way to make a difference in people’s lives.