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McMaster picks previous chief to come back and lead state's Medicaid office

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Robbert Kerr Headshot.jpg (copy)

Robbie Kerr has been nominated by Gov. Henry McMaster as the new S.C. Department of Health and Human Services director. Provided

COLUMBIA — Gov. Henry McMaster has nominated Robert M. Kerr to serve as the next director of the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Kerr previously served as director of DHHS from 2003 to 2007 during the Gov. Mark Sanford administration. He worked for the agency for 22 years, beginning in 1985.

He would succeed Joshua Baker as the state's Medicaid director. Baker resigned in December after three years overseeing an agency that provides health insurance for nearly 1.4 million South Carolinians. His last official day was in January.

“Robbie Kerr is respected by both Republicans and Democrats and has a sterling reputation for integrity, professionalism, candor and collaborative leadership," McMaster said in an April 7 press statement. "We are delighted that he has agreed to take on this position at this critical time in our state’s history.”

Kerr must still be confirmed by the state Senate.

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Since retiring from DHHS in 2007, Kerr has owned and operated a consulting firm, Kerr & Company Inc. Upon confirmation, "all client contracts with the company will be terminated and he will have no further business relationship with any of those clients," the governor's announcement press statement said.

"Kerr & Company, Inc. is in the process of ceasing operations now," the statement said.

Kerr, 62, is a 1981 graduate of the University of South Carolina.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 843-937-5551. Follow him on Twitter at @skropf47.

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