Roderick L. Bremby
Connecticut Department of Social Services
Roderick L. Bremby is serving as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), the state’s largest health and human services agency. Appointed by former Governor Dannel P. Malloy in 2011, Mr. Bremby is the longest-serving Commissioner in the agency’s 25+ years.
During his eight-year tenure, Commissioner Bremby has directed initiatives in such areas as health care program reform and service innovation; modernization of technology and business processes for improved client service delivery; and implementation of significant budgetary and legislative program changes. The Commissioner has worked with the Governor’s and Lieutenant Governor’s Offices, Office of Policy and Management and Department of Administrative Services’ Bureau of Enterprise Systems and Technology to modernize the agency’s technology and service infrastructure during a time of increased applications and program enrollment.
Agency accomplishments under Commissioner Bremby have included:
- Successful transition of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program from primarily for-profit managed care contractors to a streamlined administrative-services system, bringing service enhancements, innovations and economies.
- Implementing quality initiatives in Medicaid, including Person-Centered Medical Homes, Intensive Care Management; tobacco cessation incentives; health equity review, and prevention strategies.
- Continued implementation of Connecticut’s Medicaid expansion under the national Affordable Care Act, enrolling over 265,000 low-income adults without dependent children as of December 2018, while leading DSS coordination with Access Health CT (health insurance marketplace/exchange).
- Implementing an electronic document scanning and workflow process that has digitized over 21 million incoming documents, while offering first-time online application, renewal and change reporting options for applicants and clients, through the ‘ConneCT’ service modernization initiative.
- Development and implementation of a new integrated eligibility management system, ‘ImpaCT,’ to replace the agency’s 1980s-era eligibility system, utilizing 90% federal funding.
- Building agency capacity that has enabled service to nearly 385,000 Connecticut residents eligible for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and over 840,000 eligible for Medicaid, among other health and human services.
- Bringing Connecticut from a poor performer to national and regional competitiveness in SNAP performance and program integrity, ranking among top states for application processing timeliness and receiving federal bonus awards.
- Expansion of home- and community-based services for older adults and adults with disabilities, and implementation of the Governor’s Strategic Plan to Rebalance Long-Term Services and Supports in Connecticut.
As he completes his second four-year term in office, Commissioner Bremby is continuing to serve while a recruitment process for a new Commissioner is conducted. On January 25, 2019, Governor Ned Lamont’s office stated: “Gov. Lamont thanks Rod Bremby for his leadership at DSS. As its longest serving commissioner, Bremby was integral in the launch of the department’s self-insured Medicaid program, which leads the nation in cost stability and improved quality health outcomes. In addition, he led efforts to modernize the agency to better serve its clients and enhance partnerships with supporting organizations. DSS is better positioned for future success, thanks to Commissioner Bremby’s leadership.”
Commissioner Bremby stated: “I am deeply grateful to Governors Malloy and Lamont for the opportunity to serve the residents of Connecticut. Further, I am grateful to have had the privilege to serve with colleagues at DSS who come to work each and every day focused on customers, over self.”
Commissioner Bremby is a member of several executive panels in state government, including the Healthcare Cabinet, Access Health CT Board of Directors, Health Information Technology Advisory Council, and Connecticut Employment and Training Commission. He also serves as chair of the American Public Human Services Association Leadership Council and as a member of the association’s Executive Governing Board.
Commissioner Bremby joined Connecticut state government in April 2011 after an extensive public-sector career in Kansas and Texas, and academic service at the University of Kansas.
From 2003 to 2010, Commissioner Bremby served as the Secretary (chief executive officer) of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, that state’s combined public health and environmental protection agency. Appointed by Governor Kathleen Sebelius, he led programs dedicated to providing disease surveillance and prevention efforts, bioterrorism planning guidance, local and rural health assistance, health care and environmental information, and statewide health promotional campaigns. In addition, he oversaw the regulation of public and environmental health functions, including child care centers, hospitals and medical facilities, laboratories, food service, establishments, landfills, confined animal feeding operations, and construction and operating permits for all companies with the potential to pollute the environment.
From 2000 to 2003, Commissioner Bremby served as an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Kansas, where he also served as Associate Director of the university’s Work Group on Health Promotion and Community Development, and coordinated the launch of the Institute for Community Health and Development.
At the municipal government level, Commissioner Bremby was Assistant City Manager of Lawrence, Kansas, from 1990 to 2000, serving as chief operating officer responsible for police, fire and medical, public works, water and sewer, parks and recreation, finance, information systems, airport management, and budget preparation functions. The Commissioner’s municipal experience also includes four years as an Assistant to the City Manager in Fort Worth, Texas.
Commissioner Bremby has contributed volunteer services to many civic endeavors, including service on the Boards of Kansas Action for Children, and the Kansas Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency. He co-founded the Lawrence Partnership for Children and Youth, a group fostering community collaboration on behalf of the well-being of children and youth. He is a past president of the Lawrence, Kansas, branch of the NAACP.
The Commissioner holds a bachelor of arts degree in communication studies and psychology, and a master of public administration degree, both from the University of Kansas.
Awards and recognition include the American Public Human Services Association’s 2017 Outstanding State Member Award for leadership in advancing integration of health and human services, improving outcomes for beneficiaries, and national policy advocacy with the association; national Sierra Club’s 2011 Distinguished Achievement Award; the Roderick Bremby Award for Exceptional Courage by a Public Official, 2011, from the Breaking the Silence Conference, a Kansas environmental public interest organization; the 2010 Kansas Public Health Association President’s Award; the 2009 Kansas Natural Resource Council Environmental Action Award; and the 2008 Kansas Public Administrator of the Year recognition from that state’s Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration.
About the Department of Social Services
The Department of Social Services delivers and funds a wide range of programs and services as Connecticut’s multi-faceted health and human services agency. DSS serves about 1 million residents of all ages in all 169 cities and towns, supporting the basic needs of children, families, older and other adults, including persons with disabilities. With service partners, the agency provides federal/state food and financial aid, health care coverage, independent living and home care services, social work services, child support services, home-heating aid, protective services for older adults, and additional vital assistance. DSS has 1,600 dedicated staff led by Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby, with services delivered through 12 field offices, central administration, and online and phone access options. www.ct.gov/dss
Updated February 27, 2019