The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) is creating a new top level of management in an effort to streamline internal communications and performance.
DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill Crouch said in a press release Tuesday that Christina Mullins will serve as his Deputy Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.
Mullins most recently served as the Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health since 2018. Mullins will oversee DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health and the Office of Drug Control Policy.
“As a lifelong resident of West Virginia, I have seen firsthand how addiction and mental health disorders have affected our communities, but have also seen how West Virginians can make a difference when they work together toward a common goal,” Mullins said. “Gov. Justice and Secretary Crouch have made clear that addressing these issues are a priority and I will work hard to continue implementing data driven strategies to help our communities be healthier.”
Her appointment comes on the heels of an outside report that said DHHR needed to improve its internal communication in order to improve agency performance. Gov. Jim Justice requested an outside review of the agency after he vetoed a bill that would have split the state health department into two different agencies.
The McChrystal Group conducted the review then released its report in November, which was criticized by lawmakers for its $1 million price tag and lack of substance.
Lawmakers have questioned the largest state agency’s $7.5 billion budget while West Virginia is performing poorly in many health outcomes and has the highest percentage of children in foster care in the country.
This is the second internal promotion in two days as part of the agency’s response to the report. On Monday, Crouch announced he promoted Cammie Chapman as his Deputy Secretary of Child and Adult Services. Chapman previously served as associate general counsel for DHHR.