US Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, JD, MPP, gave the keynote address at a special event hosted by The Hilltop Institute on April 29, 2014, at UMBC. The event honored Chuck Milligan, JD, MPH, who recently stepped down from his post as Deputy Secretary for Health Care Financing at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Milligan was Hilltop’s Executive Director from 2004 to 2011 and served the state of Maryland for ten years. Milligan is relocating to New Mexico, where he will be Senior Vice President of Presbyterian Healthcare Services.
The event, consisting of a program titled Striking a Balance in Rebalancing and followed by a reception, was attended by 85 of Milligan’s colleagues, friends, and family. Attendees included such dignitaries as Governor Martin O’Malley; UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski; Secretary Cathy Raggio, Maryland Department of Disabilities; Commissioner Therese Goldsmith, Maryland Insurance Administration; Cindy Mann, Director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; John Colmers, Vice President, Health Care Transformation and Strategic Planning, Johns Hopkins University and former Secretary, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; and Ben Steffen, Executive Director, Maryland Health Care Commission.
Perez spoke about how the rights of persons with disabilities to live and receive services in the home and community is a civil rights issue and how the work he has done at the U.S. Departments of Labor and Justice has the same goal as the work Milligan has done in the health field: empowering people. Responses were given by Sara Rosenbaum, JD, Harold and Jane Hirsh, Professor of Health Law and Policy and Founding Chair of the Department of Health Policy, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services; Alan Weil, JD, MPP, Executive Director of the National Academy for State Health Policy; and Milligan himself.