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DSAAPD Welcomes New Leadership in 2017

The Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) is pleased to welcome a new Director and Deputy Director.

photo of Dava Newnam, DSAAPD Director

Dava Newnam, who most recently served as Deputy Director for the Division for the Visually Impaired (DVI), is DSAAPD's new Director. She started in her new role on August 7, 2017

For 23 years, Dava has served in various capacities in state government, mostly within the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), and mainly in DSAAPD in the finance and budget field.  Before joining DVI in October of last year, she served as DSAAPD’s Chief Financial Officer. Before that, she served DSAAPD as Senior Fiscal Administrative Officer and Fiscal Administrative Officer. Her strong government finance background and her previous experience with DSAAPD are critical during these challenging budget times, especially with a fast-growing aging population and a growing number of adults with disabilities, many of whom need services and supports. 

Dava replaces Lisa Bond, who became Director of the Division of Management Services in February, and Albert Griffith, who served as Acting Director for the past six months.

photo of Laura Howard, DSAAPD Deputy Director

Laura Howard, who has served as Executive Director of the Delaware Health Care Commission (HCC), is DSAAPD's new Deputy Director. Laura will begin her new role with DSAAPD on September 5.

The Health Care Commission functions as an independent authority and as the primary health policy forum in the state, with the goal of ensuring quality, affordable access to care. In addition to overseeing the $35 million federal State Innovation Model Cooperative Agreement, the HCC also administers the State Loan Repayment Program, the Health Insurance Marketplace, the Delaware Institute of Medical Education and Research (DIMER), the Delaware Institute of Dental Education and Research (DIDER), and the Delaware Health Resources Board. Prior to joining the HCC in August 2015, Laura was a consultant with Public Consulting Group, leading outreach and communications for Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace. Beginning in 2013, Laura worked with the HCC, DHSS and the Department of Insurance and effectively guided stakeholder engagement, supported the Marketplace Guide program, and promoted the Marketplace to Delawareans. Laura has more than 17 years of health and aging policy experience, having previously worked for lobbying and advocacy firms at the national level and as a self-employed grassroots advocacy and communications consultant.