ELLSWORTH — Mary Mayhew, commissioner of the state Department of Health and Human Services, will leave her post Friday, according to Gov. Paul LePage’s office.
“Commissioner Mayhew has done an exceptional job in managing DHHS and reforming Maine’s welfare system,” LePage said in a statement released Wednesday morning. “She spearheaded the many important welfare reforms developed under my administration, and she was the lightning rod for constant criticism from the media, liberal legislators and the special interests who wanted to protect and grow Maine’s entitlement programs. But she handled it all with grit and grace.
“We are truly sorry to see her go, but we wish her all the best.”
As commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, Mayhew led the LePage administration’s efforts to cut spending and try to transition welfare recipients to self-sufficiency through employment.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to work for Gov. LePage and to serve the people of Maine in this capacity for the last six and a half years,” Mayhew said. “I am incredibly proud of the hardworking and dedicated staff at DHHS. Together we have worked to restore clear priorities within the department to effectively support the needs of our most vulnerable.”
“It is imperative that Maine stay on this course of financial accountability; prioritizing the needs of our most vulnerable, restoring a work ethic that best promotes economic prosperity for Mainers and a brighter future for our children,” she said.
Before being appointed commissioner, Mayhew served as the senior health policy advisor for the LePage administration. Prior to that, Mayhew was vice president of the Maine Hospital Association for more than a decade.
An acting commissioner of DHHS is expected to be named later this week.