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Movers & Shakers: Scuffles at DOH, Cruley returns to Bascom Communications

Cruley returns to Bascom Communications

Lyndsey Cruley, communications director for Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, will rejoin Bascom Communications on August 1st as vice president, the firm announced.

Prior to her Senate stint, Cruley was a leadership press secretary for the Florida House. She also worked at Bascom in 2009 and 2010.

CoreMessage loses Gustafson to grad school

Rachel Gustafson is leaving CoreMessage for an art history graduate program at Washington DC’s American University.

She’s hoping to pursue a career in art advocacy.

Gustafson joined CoreMessage in 2007, where she worked with clients to develop strategic communications plans, develop messaging and execute public awareness campaigns, according to the firm's website.

She's also the president of the Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals and is on the board of the Florida Public Relations Association.

In 2011, Gustafson won a Grand All Image Award from the Capital Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association for her work on a campaign that urged Gov. Charlie Crist to veto a bill to dip into millions of dollars in the state's transportation trust fund.

Prior to CoreMessage, Gustafson was public outreach coordinator at the Claude Pepper Museum & Library at Florida State University, where she worked to increase museum admission and organize events.

The move to DC will be a big change for her. Gustafson attended FSU, and her dad, Tom Gustafson, served as speaker of House from 1988-1990.

Southern Strategy Group hires former AHCA chief of staff

James McFaddin joined lobbying firm Southern Strategy Group, according to the firm’s website.

Previously, McFaddin was director of government affairs for hospital chain Health Management Associates, where he represented the company in state capitals and Washington DC.

McFaddin is also a former chief of staff for AHCA, where he was involved in managing the agency’s Medicaid program and $20 billion budget, among other responsibilities.

DOH HIV/AIDS chief leaves for private health plan

Continue the weekly list of turnovers at the Department of Health, under strife during a massive reorganization.

Clear Health Alliance, an HIV/AIDS Medicaid Healthplan owned by Coral Gables-based Simply Healthcare, snagged Thomas Liberti, who spent the past 15 years as chief of the Bureau on HIV/AIDS at DOH.

With the state, Liberti was earning $3,590.51 biweekly.

“Tom is a respected leader whose strong partnerships, extraordinary expertise and knowledge of the ever-changing AIDS epidemic will play a significant role in expanding Clear Heath Alliance and access to health care for people living with HIV/AIDS in Florida and beyond,” Marcio Cabrera, chief executive officer of Simply Healthcare, said in a press release.

In April, Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill expanding the Medicaid HIV and AIDS program statewide.

DOH sustainability director leaves, speaks out about troubles 

Operations manager of the DOH’s Division of Environmental Public Health Daniel Parker, who earned $70,365 annual salary, was laid off from the agency.

On his way out, Parker wrote a 2,900-word e-mail lamenting the decline of the embattled department, which is undergoing massive changes and purging a long list of high-level staffers, Health News Florida reported.

Parker hopes to be elected to the Tallahassee City Commission, the article states.

Asked to comment on Parker's departure, DOH spokesperson Ashley Carr wrote: “Due to a reduction in general revenue and as a result of the economic downturn, the Division of Environmental Health was forced to make difficult employee position eliminations. In this new fiscal year, many agencies are experiencing similar budget challenges. The Department is committed to facilitating employee transitions for those affected by this reduction."

DOH appoints general counsel

For all of its layoffs and resignations, DOH appointed Jennifer Tschetter as general counsel.

At a salary of $107,037 per year, Tschetter's duties will include dispensing legal advice to new Surgeon General John Armstrong, and to DOH deputy secretaries and senior management, according to a DOH press release.

She will also oversee and direct a team of the agency’s 90 attorneys, who work in 15 counties around the state.

"I'm honored to continue serving in this capacity," Tschetter said. "I remain grateful to have the opportunity to serve the Department of Health by leading such a high quality, statewide legal office."

Tschetter has practiced law for 11 years, most recently as DOH interim general counsel, the release states.

Department of Juvenile Justice chief loses job after ratting out boss

DJJ Inspector General Mary Roe Eubanks lost her job after she wrote a 25-page report critical of a company run by one of the agency head's closest friends, the Miami Herald reported last week.

Eubanks, who earned $92,475.50 per year, resigned after learning she would be fired, the article states.

Scott appoints BOG member

Scott chose health executive Elizabeth Webster as the newest member of the state’s Board of Governors.

Webster, a regional vice president for Oakland-based Arcadian Health Plan, was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Christopher Corr for a term beginning June 14, 2012, and ending January 6, 2019.

The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation, according to the governor’s office.

Citizens picks a new president

After the board of Citizens property insurance ousted Scott ally Tom Grady, the company selected Barry Gilway as its next president.

Gilway has worked with Mattei Insurance Services, Zurich North American, and Maryland Casualty Group.

“Mr. Gilway’s executive experience combined with his understanding of the private marketplace will be essential for leading Citizens in its goal of identifying competitive market segments, continuing the redesign of Citizens’ policies, and ultimately reducing Citizens’ exposure,” an Office of Insurance Regulation press release states.

Movers & Shakers is a weekly roundup of personell changes from Tallahassee and beyond. Send tips to or via twitter at britt_alana.