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October 31, 2002

Governor Ryan Announces Public Aid Director Jackie Garner is Returning to Private Sector; Appoints George Hovanec Interim Director

SPRINGFIELD—Governor George H. Ryan today announced that Department of Public Aid Director Jackie Garner is leaving to return to the private sector in mid-November. The Governor has named George Hovanec as the interim director.

“I want to thank Jackie for her work at the agency and her guidance in helping me make it a national leader in seeking innovative ways to improve the health of Illinois families,” Governor Ryan said. “Under her leadership the number of children and pregnant mothers enrolled in KidCare has increased from 27,000 to 190,000 during my administration.”

“Two other major programs in the agency – SeniorCare and FamilyCare – would not exist without Gov. Ryan’s leadership and commitment,” Garner said. “By leveraging federal funds, Illinois has expanded health coverage to Illinois families despite the difficult budget times.

“I’m proud of the steps we have taken to begin reforming child support programs to increase collections in Illinois,” Garner said. “We also have strengthened the department’s internal auditing process, improving recent agency audit reports.”

Hovanec of Springfield, is a 25-year veteran of state service. He has served as Deputy Director of the Bureau of the Budget under Governors James Thompson, Jim Edgar and Ryan. He currently is in charge of the state Medicaid Program which he supervised from 1994 to 1999.

“George Hovanec’s long-time experience in the Bureau of the Budget and DPA will be very helpful in this assignment,” Governor Ryan said. “I am pleased that he has accepted this appointment.”

Hovanec holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has also worked for local governments in Pennsylvania and the Internal Revenue Service in New Jersey.


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