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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
November 9, 2007

John Corlett is appointed Ohio Medicaid director

Columbus--Gov. Ted Strickland will make another high-profile LGBT appointment with an executive order naming John Corlett the director of Medicaid for the state.

Corlett, who is currently a senior fellow and the director of public policy and advocacy for the Center for Community Solutions in Cleveland, will start in the post in December.

He will replace Cristal Thomas, who is moving into the new office of the head of the Executive Medicaid Management Administration.

This follows Strickland’s appointment last January of Mary Jo Hudson, Columbus’ first out councilor, as director of the Ohio Department of Insurance.

Corlett was a health care advisor to Strickland and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher’s transition team after the Democratic team took the office in last year’s election.

Part of Corlett’s duties will be heading the expansion of the Ohio Children’s Health Insurance Program and other Medicaid changes.

The new position will require that Corlett, a fixture in Cleveland’s progressive political scene, move to Columbus. He plans to rent out his house here until his work in the state capital is finished.

“John Corlett has been a friend and mentor for over a decade,” said Patrick Shepherd, former president of the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats and assistant director of the Cleveland Film Society. “John is a public policy guru who has been asked by Governor Strickland to run one of the largest programs of state government. I am thrilled and excited that John has accepted this high-level administration appointment.”

Corlett was campaign manager in 2006 for the Coalition for Ohio's Future effort to defeat the Tax Expenditure Limitation constitutional amendment, and for two successful Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services Levies. He served as a health policy fellow for then-Rep. Sherrod Brown. Corlett was director of government affairs and advocacy for the Center for Families and Children, as well as the author of numerous pieces on health care policy, poverty and other social issues. He also heads up the Center for Community Solutions’ public policy blog.

“The center will have a big hole to fill, but hopefully our state will benefit enormously from having John at the Medicaid helm,” writes Jill Miller Zimon of

Corlett declined a full interview for this piece, saying he did not feel comfortable speaking about the position before immersing himself in it.



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