Audrey Tayse Haynes was appointed Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) by Governor Steve Beshear on April 16, 2012.
Since being named Secretary of the Cabinet, Haynes has successfully overseen the transition from a fee-for-service delivery model to managed care for the majority of Kentucky’s Medicaid population, saving taxpayer dollars, while also improving member health outcomes. During Secretary Haynes’ tenure, Kentucky has also achieved tremendous success and received widespread national recognition for its full participation and successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Through Medicaid expansion and the establishment of kynect, Kentucky’s state-based health benefit exchange, more than 413,000 Kentuckians were newly insured from October 1, 2013 through April 15, 2014.
Prior to her appointment at CHFS, Haynes served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Government Affairs Officer for the YMCA of the USA in Washington, D.C., a position she had held since August 2002.
Haynes began working in Washington, D.C. in 1993 as the National Executive Director of Business and Professional Women/USA and the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation. In 1997 she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve in the Clinton/Gore White House as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach and later was appointed by Vice President Al Gore serve as Special Assistant to the Vice President and Chief of Staff to Tipper Gore.
She has held prior appointments in the administrations of three previous Kentucky governors (Wilkinson, Jones and Patton), including Executive Director of the Kentucky Literacy Commission; a Member of the Kentucky Board for Elementary and Secondary Education following Kentucky’s landmark education reform legislation; and as Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet for Health Services.
A graduate of Spalding University in Louisville and the University of Kentucky, Secretary Haynes holds both bachelors and masters degrees in social work. She has received numerous state and national awards for her advocacy for mental health care, adult education and other issues impacting youth and families.
Early in her career, Haynes worked in the field of mental health and substance abuse rehabilitation, serving as an alcohol and drug abuse counselor and later as a community education specialist.