Barbara Sears, Partner
Barbara Sears is a Partner in the Columbus office of Strategic Health Care. Prior to joining Strategic Health Care, she served as the Director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid, Ohio’s first cabinet-level state Medicaid agency. Through its network of over 125,000 active providers, Ohio Medicaid makes coordinated, person-centered care available to residents in all regions of Ohio.
The department has become a cornerstone of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, which Governor John R. Kasich created in 2011. In conjunction with the Office of Health Transformation, the Ohio Medicaid team has implemented a series of innovative policy initiatives that have modernized the Medicaid program by improving the quality of health services at a substantial value to Ohio’s taxpayers. Sears served as Assistant Director for the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation. In this role she led high priority projects to advance the Kasich Administration’s Medicaid modernization and cost containment initiatives.
Prior to joining the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, Sears represented the 47 th House District in the Ohio House of Representatives. While a legislator, she served as the Majority Floor Leader, Chair of the House Insurance Committee and Chair of the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee. Most of her legislative and policy work focused on the state’s health and human services, including Medicaid and unemployment reforms. Sears has been honored with over two dozen legislator of the year awards and lifetime achievement awards, including recognition by the Governor’s Council of People with Disabilities, LeadingAge Ohio, Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the County Behavioral Health Authorities.
Sears entered public service in 1997 when she was elected to Sylvania City Council. She served on city council for ten years, the last four as President of Council and Chair of Finance. Additionally, she chaired the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. Sears was also an active health and life insurance agent and small business owner from 1985 to 2016.