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The April 2005 newsletter, print version

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Past Issues


The April 2005 issue, online version.


photo: Lanier CanslerCansler leaving DHHS:
Lanier Cansler is leaving DHHS to rejoin the private sector. The change, effective April 15, marks the end of a four-year stint as the department’s deputy secretary and 10 years of public service.


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Cansler leaving DHHS

Lanier Cansler is leaving DHHS to rejoin the private sector. The change, effective April 15, marks the end of a four-year stint as the department’s deputy secretary and 10 years of public service.

photo: Lanier CanslerA former legislator, Cansler represented Buncombe County in the State House for over six years before answering a call from DHHS Secretary Carmen Hooker Odom to join her leadership team in 2001. He brought legislative, budgetary and administrative skills to bear in the day-to-day management of the department. He is a certified public accountant.

“We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude because he has accomplished so much while he was here,” Hooker Odom said. “DHHS today is a much better place for employees and for North Carolinians who rely on our services because of all of Lanier’s wonderful work.”

Admitting that his decision to leave the department was a difficult one, Cansler said, “While I have made the personal decision that it is time to move on, I am very grateful to the Secretary and Governor Easley for granting me the opportunity to serve as deputy secretary these past four years. I am also very appreciative of all the dedicated folks at DHHS who have worked with me to enhance our management capacity, move toward a focus on performance and outcomes, and prepare the department for the challenges in this new century so that we may better serve the people of this state. It has been a great experience and I will miss being a part of the DHHS team.”

Cansler’s accomplishments include:

  • Instituted performance-based contracting, an initiative that has received national attention. DHHS contracts now include specific outcomes with performance measures, which ensure that the state actually gets what it pays for.
  • Established major improvements in the control environment and management processes across the department. A good example of this work is found in DMA’s Disproportionate Share (DSH) program, where procedures and polices now ensure staff depth of knowledge, re-establish control of the DSH program within the division and ensure that financial and eligibility data is complete, accurate and up to date.
  • Moved the department forward by providing strong support for vital information technology projects including NC FAST, MMIS+, HIS, NC Time, as well as important projects in the Office of Vital Records and our mental health facilities.
  • Directed the creation of the Program Management Database which will provide a management tool to track performance, avoid duplication of efforts, and gain important new efficiencies in how we serve DHHS clients.

“Before I became deputy secretary, I made my living as a consultant, working primarily with health care providers. It is my plan to establish a consulting firm in Raleigh to assist government and corporate clients with management issues. It is also my desire to find ways to continue to be engaged in the health care debate,” Cansler added.

“Lanier and I both feel good about what DHHS has accomplished during his tenure,” Hooker Odom said. “I think the overriding accomplishment is a cultural change—the attitude that anything can be accomplished with strong management and sound planning. That will be Lanier’s legacy. Please join me in wishing him well in his future endeavors and thanking him for the last four years.”

















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