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Governor-elect Snyder appoints Dazzo to head Department of Community Health

LANSING, MI - Governor-elect Rick Snyder today appointed Olga Dazzo to head the Department of Community Health.  In making the announcement, Snyder stressed the need to make the department more efficient in order to improve patient care.

"There is an attitude that the only way to lower costs is to reduce the level of care.  I reject that premise," Snyder said.  "Olga understands that the decisions she makes will directly impact the wellbeing of Michigan's most vulnerable citizens, and she will always have an eye toward delivering services more efficiently so those who need treatment are able to get it."  

Dazzo has a long record working to bring down health care costs.  She is currently president and CEO of Health Reform Innovations LLC, a consulting firm focused on improving health and lowering costs.  Previously she served as vice president and executive director of Jackson Health Plans in Miami Florida, which combined with the decade she spent as President and CEO of Physicians Health Plan in Lansing gives her great expertise in Medicaid programs. 

"We must focus on preventive care and healthy behaviors to save lives and ensure wellness," Dazzo said.  "To lower administrative costs, reduce costly duplication of service and promote safety, the state must focus on greater and more efficient use of technology such as electronic health records and patient-centered medical homes.  We will also focus on a robust fraud and abuse prevention program to control costs."

Dazzo, who is fluent in Spanish and once a Cuban refugee, will make improving customer service and reaching out to underserved groups a key part of her strategy to lower costs and improve health.

Dazzo earned her B.A. degree in Accounting and M.B.A. in Finance from Michigan State University.  She served as a Ferris State University trustee from 1998 to 2006.