August 10, 2018
For Immediate Release: Friday, August 10, 2018
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
AUGUSTA–Governor Paul R. LePage announced today that Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Ricker Hamilton will retire from state service on August 31, 2018.
“Ricker has served the state for more than 40 years,” said Governor LePage. “He has dedicated his long career at DHHS to protecting our most vulnerable, especially our elderly and people with disabilities. I thank him for his service to the people of Maine and wish him well in his retirement.”
Commissioner Hamilton has served as head of DHHS since May of 2017, first as acting commissioner, and was confirmed by the Senate in October of last year. As commissioner of the largest agency in state government, he administers an annual budget of over $3.4 billion and oversees more than 3,400 employees.
“It has been my honor to serve the people of Maine for the last 41 years,” said Commissioner Hamilton. “I am so proud of what we have accomplished in the last year. From combating the state’s opioid epidemic through our innovative initiatives and expanded access to treatment, to providing opportunities for success to young Mainers–and everything in between–we continue to have a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of so many. Though retirement is bittersweet, I am confident that I am leaving the Department in the hands of a very capable and dedicated staff.”
Commissioner Hamilton joined DHHS in 1982, serving as program administrator for Adult Protective Services for nearly 30 years before being named director of the Office of Aging and Disability Services in 2011 and then serving as deputy commissioner of programs.
An instructor at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, Commissioner Hamilton serves on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Law and Aging as a special advisor. He also serves as an instructor for the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women; the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life; the National Institute on the Prosecution of Elder Abuse; and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He received the 2016 Children’s Advocate Award from the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
Commissioner Hamilton holds a B.A. degree from St. Anselm College, a M.S.W. degree from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work and a certification by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy as a Reserve Law Enforcement Officer.
Upon Commissioner Hamilton’s retirement, Governor LePage will appoint Bethany Hamm, director of the Office of Family Independence, as acting commissioner.