OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7434
******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******
Governor Matt Mead selects Tom Forslund to head Health Department
CHEYENNE, WY Governor Matt Mead has chosen Tom Forslund, Casper City Manager, as his new Director of the Department of Health. The current director, Dr. Brent Sherard will join the governor’s staff as a policy advisor on health issues. Forslund will take his new position in approximately 60 days, and Dr. Sherard will manage the department until then.
The governor said that one of the most important jobs of his administration is to ensure that the Department of Health is successful and fiscally prudent. He said that managing the department is “very difficult, especially during these times when federal law is putting new challenges on the State of Wyoming.” The governor said Forslund is well qualified to handle those challenging issues.
According to Governor Mead, “Tom has a proven track record in the City of Casper during good times and bad times. He has shown that he is fiscally responsible, he has the ability to manage a number of people, and he has the ability to tackle emergency situations.”
Forslund has been city manager of Casper since 1988, overseeing the city budget of $150 million, 535 full-time and 500 part-time employees. Forslund said, “It is a real honor to be asked to join the governor’s administration in a department that provides critical services to the residents of the state.”
Asked what he brings to the job, Forslund said, “I have worked for complex, multi-faceted public organizations through most of my career. …I’ll be looking at the kind of performance indicators and outcome measures that the department (of health) uses. I have successfully dealt with complex intergovernmental situations, with federal agencies and state agencies.”
Governor Mead said that he is working with legislators on ways to possibly reorganize the functioning of the Department of Health and Wyoming’s Medicaid program. He said, “One challenge is that we are required to provide great services and at the same time watch the checkbook. I want to remove the dichotomy. One way to do that could be to take the fiscal component out of the department or leave it in the department and have it report to me.”
Forslund will be “kept apprised of” and contribute to the continuing discussions until he assumes the director’s job in approximately 60 days, said the governor.
Governor Mead thanked Dr. Sherard for his service in “running what is not known as the easiest department to run.” He said that Dr. Sherard will be an asset in the governor’s office, bringing his perspective from the Department of Health and as a physician to health care matters on issues ranging from insurance exchange to meaningful use of medical records.
Susan Anderson - Interim Press Secretary
CELL (307) 277-7026