Randall W. Williams, MD, FACOG, is an obstetrician and gynecologist who graduated from the University of North Carolina with Honors in History and Zoology and received his medical training at the University of North Carolina where he was a Holderness Fellow.
Dr. Williams was appointed as the Cabinet Director of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and was subsequently unanimously confirmed by the Missouri Senate on March 9, 2017. He believes a fundamental tenet of effective leadership is to be readily available and accessible. He has visited all of Missouri’s 115 counties to listen and learn from all of Missouri’s citizens.
DHSS accomplishments to date with Dr. Williams include the following:
- First major redesign of Missouri’s almost billion dollar Home Community Based Services and Consumer Directed Services programs since 1982 to reflect changes in care during that time period.
- First Opioid Emergency Response Center in Missouri created in conjunction with the City of St. Louis and multiple additional agencies to respond in real time to opioid overdoses, increasing availability of treatment and wraparound services.
- Passage of universal naloxone law under Dr. Williams’ DEA number, which provides universal access to naloxone and applies the Good Samaritan law that encourages people to seek emergency services in the event of an overdose by protecting them from prosecution.
- Organized a series of nine opioid summits throughout the state convening an average of about 400 community leaders at each summit to integrate local, state and federal partners’ efforts. Missouri’s opioid mortality rate increased by 35% between 2015 and 2016 and 4.7% between 2016 and 2017.
- Coordinated first ever Governor’s Rural Health Care Summit as part of Governor Mike Parson’s Health Care Week which focused on health priorities and involved site visits throughout Missouri by Governor Parson, Director Corsi of DSS, Director Stringer of DMH and Dr. Williams of DHSS.
- Oversaw alignment with University of Missouri School of Medicine on pilot project to build out rural based primary care residencies in Missouri.
- First real time review of maternal mortality—as opposed to historical review—by Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review Board and initiated application for national membership in the Alliance of Initiatives in Maternal Health in conjunction with Missouri Hospital Association.
- Startup of Constitutional Article XIV, a ballot initiative approved by two thirds of Missouri voters, creating a projected $500 million medical marijuana program in Missouri.