Joel Gilbertson has been appointed the new Commissioner of Health & Social Services
Born in Fairfax, VA, Joel Gilbertson has worked in a variety of positions related to health care and welfare systems, focusing on the efficient delivery of services and expanding access to underserved communities.
Gilbertson has worked for the Center for Health Services Research and Policy, and for National Assn. of Social Workers.
There, he assisted in the research and publication of a nationwide study of Medicaid managed care contracts. Most recently, he has served as legislative director and counsel on Murkowski's US Senate staff, managing policy on a variety of issues including Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP, also known in Alaska as "Denali KidCare), Medicare, Social Security, and welfare reform.
He is a graduate of George Washington University Law School and GWU School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington, DC., holding Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health Degrees.
"Joel Gilbertson is young, energetic and innovative," Murkowski said. "Yet he is also experienced and knowledgeable in health and welfare issues. He is well-acquainted with the Medicaid funding problems facing Alaska and every other state. I have worked with him for the past four years and I know his talents and abilities. The issues and opportunities we have at the dept. of health and social services are numerous, they are big, and they hit people at the personal level. I think Joel is the right person to tackle those problems."
"I am gratified that these new commissioners have agreed to become part of the working core of this administration," Murkowski said. "We will have a cabinet of many long-time Alaskans, representing regional diversity. I am confident that the people of Alaska will soon share my appreciation for each of these individuals, and for the education, experience and leadership qualities they bring to the departments they will head up."