A Harvard Medical School faculty member with a background in children’s medicine has been picked as the first leader of the new MoHealthNet Program—the replacement for Medicaid. Doctor Ian McCaslin is leaving his faculty job at Harvard and is giving up his job as attending physician in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Boston Children’s Hospital to turn the Missouri Division of Medical Services into the Missouri Healthnet Division.

The bill creating MoHealthnet goes into effect next week.

He calls the new program "an interesting" challenge" for everybody–to consider lifestyle choices and move toward healthier activities and better nutrition. He says the program is not just healthcare–it’s a societal agenda. McCaslin says he needs to find the people with energy, enthusiasm, and passion for producing change.

Although he won’t actually be on the job until next month, McCaslin already has had his first staff meeting. He says he went into the meeting with a thin folder and left with about 18-inches of materials to read and digest.

McCaslin says he won’t rush the changeover but he knows the public does not want delays. He says he’ll be on the road a lot because sitting behind a desk is not his strong suit.

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