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DHS news release

Nov. 13, 2007

Contact: Jim Sellers, 503-945-5738

Oregon Department of Human Services names new state Medicaid director

James Edge has been named assistant director for the Oregon Department of Human Services Division of Medical Assistance Programs. Edge has served as interim DMAP administrator since March.

In his new role Edge will be responsible for administering the state's Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance programs, which provide health care coverage to more than 400,000 low-income Oregonians through the Oregon Health Plan. The program's biennial budget totals approximately $4.4 billion.

"One in three Oregonians receives medical assistance through the Oregon Health Plan at some time in their lives," said DHS Director Bruce Goldberg, M.D. "The importance of this program to Oregonians cannot be overemphasized. That's why I'm so pleased to have someone with Jim's experience in the health care arena to take on oversight of the state's medical assistance programs. He has the confidence of partners and staff, and I'm looking forward to the leadership he will bring to this position."

Approximately 600,000 people receive medical assistance through the Oregon Health Plan each year, noted Edge.

"Oregon is considered a national leader in health care reform with the innovations of the Oregon Health Plan, and I feel honored to have this opportunity," said Edge. "My focus will be on the quality, access and affordability of health care for Oregonians, and on improving the quality of life for Oregonians as a part of moving health care forward in Oregon."

Prior to serving as interim administrator for DMAP, Edge served as the division's deputy administrator for four years. He also served for a year as manager of the Oregon Health Plan Policy Unit, which oversees rules and regulations guiding operations of the state's medical programs.

His background includes directing the U.S. Public Health Service's Indian Health Service Western Oregon Unit, where he was responsible for the provision of health care to Native American patients in western Oregon, and prior to that directing the Neah Bay Unit, which provided health services on four reservations in western Washington.

Edge holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Washington and a Master of Public Health from the University of Hawaii. During his time with the U.S. Public Health Service he received several commendations, and left the Service with the rank of Captain.