Raimondo names choice to lead EOHHS

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Gina M. Raimondo will nominate Womazetta Jones to be Secretary of the R.I. Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the governor’s office announced Tuesday.

Jones is currently the director of social services for Ramsey County, Minn. The governor will introduce Jones at a press conference Wednesday morning. The governor’s office said Jones was selected following a national search.

“As a social services professional, I am thrilled to have an opportunity to help shape a statewide system to not only offer high-quality services but deliver them in a manner respectful of cultural and economic diversity,” said Jones in a statement. “It’s only through such efforts that we can eliminate disparities and achieve outcome equality.”

Jones’ tentative start date is July 22. Her appointment is pending confirmation from the R.I. Senate. Jones would succeed Lisa Vura-Weis, who has served as EOHHS’ acting secretary since Secretary Eric Beane stepped down in December.

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“Throughout her career Womazetta has advocated for and led the types of transformational health and human services efforts that create opportunities and improve quality of life for all people. There’s no question she will be an asset to Rhode Island,” said Raimondo Tuesday afternoon in a press release. “Over the past few years we’ve laid a strong foundation at EOHHS as we’ve expanded access to high-quality health care, reduced the number of overdose deaths and undertaken important reform efforts at DCYF. Womazetta understands the critical role EOHHS plays in continuing this work to meet the comprehensive needs of individuals and families.”