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Movers and Shakers

New state ombudsman for the elderly takes the helm

Leigh Davis has been named the state’s new top advocate for the elderly in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities.

Davis, who has 30 years experience in the health-care and long-term care industry, filled the role of long-term care ombudsman for the Department of Elder Affairs on Feb. 3. In her position, she’ll oversee the statewide council of trained volunteers who visit facilities and investigate complaints and act as advocates for the elderly.

Davis was most recently the Agency for Health Care Administration’s program administrator for risk management and public safety. She has also worked in the long-term care industry in Missouri.

Her appointment follows the troubled tenure of Jim Crochet, who retired from the job last summer while under investigation by the agency. Crochet had replaced an outspoken advocate Brian Lee, who has a lawsuit against the state, which fired him from the department.

Changes in Tallahassee Press Corps

Matt Dixon, a state government reporter for the Jacksonville-based Florida Times-Union, will become Tallahassee Bureau Chief of the newly created E.W. Scripps Co. bureau in the capital.

Dixon has been working at the Florida Times-Union since 2010. He was previously a government reporter for the Panama City News Herald.

The Associated Press has hired investigative reporter Steve Miller to help cover the state’s 2014 legislative session.

Miller, 56, has 20 years of journalism experience, including stints at the Texas Watchdog, the Washington Times and the Dallas Morning News, according to an announcement from the Associated Press. He has written three true crime books and two on rock and punk music and recently freelanced for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

AHCA legislative affairs director joins lobbying group

Chris Chaney, a former legislative affairs director at Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, is joining the Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners, with offices in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.

While at AHCA, Chaney dealt with legislative policy and appropriation, including the licensure and regulation of all health care facilities in Florida and operation of Florida’s Medicaid program. He also played a role in drafting legislation and developing the agency’s legislative package.

Broadcaster launches new firm

Longtime broadcaster Trimmel Gomes has launched Gomes Media Strategies, a new media production and consulting firm.

He most recently at Sachs Media Group, where he served on public affairs accounts while managing the firm’s news properties. He previously worked for National Public Radio and PBS.

New addition at the Board of Governors

Amy Beaven is serving as the new director of STEM and Health Initiatives for the Board of Governors and will work closely with the Special Advisor for STEM and Health Initiatives, Dr. Alma Littles, and other Board of Governors staff in the development of a strategic plan for STEM and health programs.

Beaven was previously at the University of Texas Health Science Center’s Institute for Health Policy where, for the past seven years, she has served as a Policy Research Associate.