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New chief medical officer at Vermont Health Access

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- The Department of Vermont Health Access, which administers the state's publicly financed or subsidized health insurance programs, has named a new chief medical officer.

Thomas Simpatico, who has been serving as the department's interim medical director since 2012, is expected to provide strategic medical leadership related to the department's clinical policies and practices. He also will serve as a liaison for the department to health care providers and other state partners.

The department says he also will play a key role in ensuring that Vermonters receiving health coverage through Vermont's public health coverage program receive necessary care consistent with the best available clinical guidelines.

Simpatico is a professor of psychiatry and director of the Division of Public Psychiatry at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.