Friedlander officially takes cabinet post

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Eric Friedlander has led Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now he has accepted the job on a permanent basis. Gov. Andy Beshear made the announcement Monday at his daily coronavirus briefing.

Friedlander was hired as acting secretary of the vast state agency at the start of Beshear’s term last December.

The governor says Friedlander was offered the job as permanent secretary on Sunday.

He says Friedlander has “more than earned the full-time job.”

Friedlander was appointed acting secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services by Gov. Andy Beshear on Dec. 10, 2019. He has spent 35 years in public service, most of them with CHFS.

He served previously as CHFS deputy secretary in the administration of Gov. Steve Beshear, a position in which he helped lead and manage successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act and transformation of Kentucky’s healthcare delivery system.

He has held many other positions in Cabinet agencies from Certificate of Need to Family Resource Centers with emphasis on specialty areas from budget to policy.

Most recently, he served as chief resilience officer for the Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services.

According to his bio, the resilience position was a part of the 100 Resilient Cities initiative, a worldwide network of cities studying factors vital to help cities bounce back from the inevitable impact of acute shock or chronic stress of aging infrastructure, inequality and poverty.

According to his state biography, in the community services aspect of his role, he also led the city’s response to homelessness. This role included some poverty-fighting initiatives like LIHEAP, Meals on Wheels and Neighborhood Place as well as advocacy offices such as the Office of Women, Veterans Affairs, Aging and Disabilities and Youth Development.

Sec. Friedlander is a graduate of Antioch College.

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