Medicaid Who’s Who Interview: Cindy Becker

Cindy has decades of involvement in the Medicaid industry. Check out her LinkedIn profile.

1. Which segment of the industry are you currently involved? 

A: Most recently, I’ve worked with behavioral health expansion, integration with physical health, and community engagement. However, I’ve been involved with Medicaid policy, funding, and implementation throughout my career.

2. How many years have you been in the Medicaid industry? 

A: I’ve worked at both the state and local levels for more than 25 years. During this time, I held senior executive positions at the state’s Medicaid agency, one of the largest metropolitan counties, and Managed Care Organizations. I’ve also been intimately involved with health reform in Oregon from drafting legislation to transforming service delivery to engaging diverse communities.

3. What is your focus/passion? (Industry related or not) 

A: I’m solutions-focused and passionate about creating high performing systems through effective policy analysis, planning, communications, metrics, and relationships. Figuring out how to make things work is the ultimate challenge, particularly when working in the Medicaid space! I’m also a big believer in process improvement and especially like Peter Drucker’s quote: “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”

4. What is the top item on your “bucket list?” 

A: I would love to go on a photographic safari.

5. What do you enjoy doing most with your personal time? 

A: I enjoy painting and crafts, probably because they have a beginning, middle, and end (unlike much of the work in the health arena).

6. Who is your favorite historical figure and why? 

A: Golda Meier – I admire her leadership, tenacity, non-traditional approach and her many accomplishments. She was a force to be reckoned with who worked relentlessly to achieve her goals.

7. What is your favorite junk food? 

A: Donuts!

8. Of what accomplishment are you most proud? 

A: Early on in my last position, the communities I worked with identified a major gap in services for children and youth. I’m very of proud of bringing public and private sector stakeholders together to create–and fund–community mental health crisis services for children and drop-in services for transition-aged youth experiencing behavioral health issues.

9. For what one thing do you wish you could get a mulligan? 

A: Years ago, I was involved in a major agency reorganization which didn’t go smoothly. One of the main reasons was the director’s negative feelings towards middle management, feeling they were the cause of the agency’s problems. While I supported that approach at the time, it was a great lesson learned as I went on to leadership positions. In fact, successfully working with middle management became a critical component in subsequent change initiatives that I lead.

10. What are the top 1-3 issues that you think will be important in Medicaid during the next 6 months? 


a. Tracking and strategizing any federal health reform changes to the ACA — everyone is waiting for the next shoe  to drop.

b. Engaging non-traditional partners and communities to:

  1.      Expand and integrate behavioral health and physical health services
  2.      Focus on social determinants, specifically housing and food insecurity
  3.      Increase health equity among marginalized populations.