News release

For immediate release
Friday, July 23, 2021

Dr. Charissa Fotinos named interim state Medicaid director

OLYMPIA – Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) Director Sue Birch has named Dr. Charissa Fotinos as interim state Medicaid director effective August 1, 2021.

Dr. Fotinos, a family doctor specializing in addiction medicine, is HCA’s deputy chief medical officer and previously served as chief medical officer for Public Health-Seattle & King County.

“Charissa is a longtime HCA leader who has a deep understanding of health care delivery systems, the importance of integrated care, and the linkage between public health and health care,” Birch said. “She cares deeply about the people we serve through the Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) program. I am grateful she is stepping into this role while we conduct a nationwide search for our next state Medicaid director.”

MaryAnne Lindeblad announced earlier this year she would retire on July 31, after serving in various state government leadership positions for four decades. Among Lindeblad’s accomplishments in health care policy, she led the state’s Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, and oversaw the multi-year effort to integrate physical and behavioral health for Apple Health clients.