Newsmakers


Sidonie "Sydney" Squier in June became director of the Office of Family Assistance, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she is responsible for administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

Squier most recently was the federal liaison on human service issues for the state of Texas. Previously, she worked in Austin, where she administered TANF, food stamp, and Medicaid eligibility programs as well as special nutrition programs, refugee and domestic violence programs. While in Austin, she served on the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) steering committee for TANF and the Texas County Advisory Workgroup on Healthy Families.

Before Texas, Squier worked in Florida, Michigan, and California.

Barry Maram, director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), and Antonia Novello, commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, were among this year's recipients of the National Governors Association's Distinguished Service Award to State Government.

Maram became the first state official from Illinois to receive the award since 1994.

As director of HFS, formerly known as the Illinois Department of Public Aid, Maram has helped to ensure that Illinois is expanding access to healthcare among the state's working families, to transform the state's child support enforcement system through reorganization and new technology, and to coordinate a statewide hospital assessment that brought millions of dollars back to Illinois.

Novello became the 13th state health commissioner in 1999. From 1979 to 1990, she worked for the U.S. Public Health Service at the National Institutes of Health, where she served in various capacities, rising to deputy director of the NIH. She was the first female and first Hispanic to be surgeon general of the United States, appointed by President Bush in 1990 and serving until 1993.

In Arkansas, John Selig was named head of the Department of Human Services. He replaced Kurt Knickrehm, who left state government to join the private sector.

Selig heads the newly combined DHS and the state Department of Health. He was the deputy director of DHS in charge of the divisions of Behavioral Health Services, Medical Services, Developmental Disabilities, County Operations, and Aging and Adult Services. He also oversaw merger preparations with the Health Department.

Selig spent three years as the director of the Division of Mental Health Services at DHS.

Knickrehm was the chief executive officer of Tenet Physician Services' Central States Region from 1996 until joining DHS as deputy director in July 1998.

Michael Danjczek, president and executive director of the Children's Home of Easton Services Inc. and president of the Children's Home of Easton Inc., Pa., has announced that he will retire in the summer of 2006.

The 56-year-old said that he will retire in a year's time after 32 years with Children's Home, a nonprofit agency that provides a home and professional treatment for youth in the Lehigh Valley.

Danjczek was hired in June of 1974. During his tenure, the facility has grown to combined budgets of $10 million to care for more than 400 children per year, and has established a college scholarship fund.

In all his work at Children's Home, Danjczek said he is most proud of the personal relationships he has formed with youth who have passed through the establishment. …

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