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Leadership reorganization begins at state's largest agency

Delaware News Desk
Molly Magarik is the incoming Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

With incoming Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Molly Magarik being sworn in July 31, leadership changes are taking place across the 4000-employee agency .

Marissa Catalon, who previously served as deputy director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, has been appointed as the new division director, effective July 1. Catalon replaced Marie Nonnenmacher, who is retiring July 31.

Catalon has served as deputy director for over two years and has worked for the state for more than 27 years. She joined the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services in 2005 as the day and transition program administrator for New Castle County. In 2011, she became the statewide director of day and transition services. 

Leslie Boyd, who previously served as chief of administration at the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, has been appointed as the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services’ new deputy director. She started in the new position July 20. Boyd began working for the state in 1996 at the Division of Management Services and held various positions prior to moving to the children’s department. Over the past 15 years, as chief of administration, she has been responsible for the management of the cost recovery/client eligibility unit.

Corinna Getchell, previously the Division of Healthcare Quality's Office of Health Facilities Licensing and Certification director, will be appointed the division's director. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she's held a leadership role within the long-term care incident command at the State Health Operations Center in Smyrna.

Current Division of Healthcare Quality Director Yrene Waldron is returning to retirement to spend time with her family.

Melissa Smith, who has been serving as acting deputy director of the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities since November 2018, has been elevated to deputy director of the division. Smith previously served as a special projects planner at the division with a focus on assessing the needs of the division’s long-term care facilities, including implementation of person-centered care approaches. She has also served in other leadership roles within the Department of Health and Social Services.

Deborah Talley, who has been serving as acting deputy director of the Division for the Visually Impaired since February 2020, has been elevated to deputy director. Talley has worked at the division since 2014 in communications and outreach. She has almost 20 years in the field of employment services for individuals with disabilities and has served as executive director of the Delaware Business Leadership Network since 2017.

A national search will be conducted for a new director for the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. Deputy Director Alexis Teitelbaum will serve as acting director. Teitelbaum, who has served as deputy director since January 2020, previously served as chief of administration in the Division of Social Services.

Acting Director Elizabeth Romero will be transitioning to spend more time with her family and continue her life’s work to improve equity, health and health systems. 

“In addition to these leadership changes, I will name a new deputy secretary soon to help lead our agency during these critical times,” said incoming Secretary Molly Magarik. “Thanks to the incredible leadership of our current secretary, Dr. Kara Odom Walker, DHSS has a strategic plan to help guide us as we create more streamlined, efficient services for Delawareans. Over the past several years and during our ongoing COVID-19 response, we have worked to integrate health and social services, and those changes reflect a need to refocus on our 21st-century needs and align our pandemic efforts.”

Magarik is replacing Walker, who is leaving her position on July 31 to join Nemours’ National Office of Policy and Prevention in Washington, D.C., as senior vice president and chief population health Officer. 

Magarik has served as deputy secretary to Walker since February 2017. Over the coming months, she will work to reorganize the department to provide more coordinated and person-centered services for Delawareans.  

Before joining DHSS, Magarik served as state director for then Congressman John Carney and political director for Beau Biden’s campaign for attorney general. She also worked as a strategic advisor across nonprofits and government, including as executive director of the Delaware Democratic Party. She is a candidate for a master's of health care delivery science from Dartmouth College and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and women’s studies from the University of Delaware. She and her husband, Josh, have two daughters and live in Middletown.