Emily Rice Published

Changes Coming To DHHR Following Crouch's Retirement


After nearly six years as its Secretary, Bill Crouch will retire from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources at the end of the year. Senate President Craig Blair said more changes are coming this session.

Blair wished Crouch well in his retirement, but said more changes are coming to the $7.5 billion agency.

“First of all, best of luck to outgoing Secretary Crouch, best wishes to him, but there is long overdue change that is needed that exceeds the McChrystal report, and it’s probably going to take legislative statutory changes,” Blair said.

Blair said he plans to work with Roger Hanshaw, speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, and the rest of the West Virginia Legislature, to make those changes.

“We’re crafting those now. It will have to go through the committee process. But I’d prefer that until we’ve got put together something that is sustainable, long term that makes it so that it does include breaking up the DHHR as we know it today,” Blair said. “It’d be probably the bill that was vetoed by the governor last year, let’s say on steroids.”

Blair said the legislature plans to put together legislation that improves the delivery of services in the future.

“Those same people have been receiving less than adequate services for quite some time now. And this is an effort to remedy that,” Blair said. “The people of West Virginia deserve the best, that includes whether it is for jobs or services, when someone’s in need. The DHHR is a very encompassing organization right now. But the people in West Virginia should have no fear. When it’s over and done with, we’re going to have improvement on the delivery of services into the future.”

Note: This story was updated to reflect how long Secretary Crouch has served as head of the DHHR.