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Hamos to head state healthcare unit

Governor Pat Quinn today named State Rep. Julie Hamos director of the state’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Hamos, who represents the 18th District, which includes Evanston, lost the 10th Congressional District Democratic primary in February to Dan Seals of Wilmette after deciding not to run for re-election to the state house.

Governor Pat Quinn today named State Rep. Julie Hamos director of the state’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Hamos, who represents the 18th District, which includes Evanston, lost the 10th Congressional District Democratic primary in February to Dan Seals of Wilmette after deciding not to run for re-election to the state house.

“Julie has served our state with professionalism and integrity for many years and is a longtime champion of improving access to healthcare,” Quinn said. “In this new role, she will continue to be a strong advocate for families in need of better, more efficient and patient-centered healthcare. Julie will also be instrumental in the Illinois implementation of President Obama’s ground-breaking healthcare reform plan.”

Hamos starts the new job a week from today. Her resignation from the legislature meens the Democratic committeemen from the 18th District will have to pick a replacement — which could be Robyn Gabel, who won the Democratic primary.

Hamos has served in the Illinois House of Representatives since 1999. Previously, she worked as the legislative counsel and policy advisor to then-State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley, before being appointed director of the Child Support Division, which oversees more than 300,000 child support cases each year.

Hamos earned a Bachelor’s degree from Washington University and a law degree George Washington University.

“I am honored to serve the people of Illinois as Director of Healthcare and Family Services and thank Governor Quinn for this opportunity,” said Hamos. “I am a longtime advocate for expanding access to healthcare and believe in improving the quality of healthcare for Illinois families and protecting patients.”

In 2003, Hamos worked to enact the Consumer Guide to Health Care Act, which requires hospitals and outpatient surgical treatment centers to disclose data on key measures for 30 medical procedures – part of a national movement to help consumers make comparisons based on quality healthcare data.

In 2005, Hamos sponsored legislation that created the Electronic Health Records Taskforce, and this year she is sponsoring the Illinois Health Information Exchange and Technology Act. That Act will establish a public-private Health Information Exchange Authority to work in conjunction with the Governor’s Office of Health Information Technology to enable providers throughout Illinois to securely share patient health information, and it is a step toward the adoption of statewide electronic health records.

Hamos succeeds former HFS Director Barry Maram, who is assisting in the leadership transition.

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