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June 29, 2009, 2:00 p.m. CT


Jen Rae Hein, Gov’s Office
Ashley Cradduck, Gov’s Office

Gov. Heineman Names Kerry Winterer of Omaha CEO of Health & Human Services

Kerry Winterer Photo
(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today named Kerry Winterer, as the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Winterer will begin July 13.

Winterer, 59, began his work with healthcare in 1988 co-founding The Benefit Group, Inc., which administers health care and other plans for small employers. As vice president and general counsel, Winterer was responsible for operational areas of the company such as administration and financial oversight of the company, as well as helping clients with governmental compliance concerns related to and including Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), and other government requirements.   

 “I am pleased to appoint Kerry CEO of Health and Human Services,” Gov. Heineman said. “Kerry has the business knowledge that will be an asset in leading a successful department. He is an effective communicator, he understands the value of public-private partnerships, and he will be a good leader for the Department of Health and Human Services.”

Winterer said, “To head a department as large and diverse and important as Health and Human Services is certainly a daunting task. But, at the same time, the fact that it is large and provides important and many times life sustaining services to citizens of the state is invigorating. The department’s mission provides all the more motivation to find ways to effectively provide those services and make a difference in the lives of so many people.”

Winterer currently serves on the State Board of Education. He was appointed to the board in 2007 and elected in 2008.

Winterer has served on a number of community organizations including the Heartland Family Service with which he has had involvement for 20 years. He has served as the President of the Heartland Family Service Board twice. Winterer has also served the United Way of the Midlands, Boy Scouts of America and the Greater Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau Board. Winterer was named Nebraska’s 1999 Champion of Small Business by the Nebraska Business Development Council.

Winterer is a 1975 graduate of the Columbia University School of Law in New York, and earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1972. He graduated from Gering High School and was born in Scottsbluff.

As CEO, Winterer will direct Nebraska’s largest state agency with a budget of $2.9 billion and more than 5,500 full-time employees in over 70 offices and facilities across the state. DHHS consists of six divisions: Behavioral Health, Children and Family Services, Developmental Disabilities, Medicaid and Long-Term Care, Public Health, and Veterans' Homes. 

His salary will be $155,000.


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