+ Biography

Kelly Cunningham

Kelly Cunningham currently serves as the Medicaid Administrator for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), Illinois’ Medicaid agency, a position she has held since February 2020. The Illinois Medicaid Program provides comprehensive medical and behavioral health services to approximately 3.9 million Illinoisans, approximately 25% of the state’s population.

She formerly held the position of Deputy Administrator for Long Term Care and Behavioral Health within the Division of Medical Programs of HFS. In this position, Ms. Cunningham had responsibility for administering the development of rates and policy related to Illinois’ program of long-term services, as well as managing various long-term care rebalancing initiatives and consent decrees. She also had oversight over the Bureau of Behavioral Health, which is responsible for the development and implementation of children’s and adult behavioral health services under the Medicaid program. Prior to this position, she served as Chief of the Bureau of Long Term Care from 2005 through 2012.

Ms. Cunningham holds a bachelor’s degree from Blackburn College and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She recently completed a year-long fellowship through the Medicaid Leadership Institute (MLI), a program of the Centers for Healthcare Strategies and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. During her 35+ years of working in Illinois state government, she has held executive-level positions within the Bureau of the Budget, Office of the Governor, Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, Illinois Department on Aging and the Illinois Department of Public Health prior to joining Healthcare and Family Services in 2005.

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