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Arkansas Department of Human Services selects new director for disabilities services



Little Rock, Arkansas – Today, the new director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) was announced by the Arkansas Department of Human Services (ADHS).

According to ADHS, Thomas Tarpley had been acting as temporary DDS Director since November, and Jennifer Daniel Brezee took over from him.

“We are so excited to welcome Jennifer to our team,” said DHS Secretary Kristi Putnam. “She has held leadership roles at two of the PASSEs that serve Arkansans with developmental and behavioral health disabilities, and she has a true understanding of the importance of the services DDS provides for our beneficiaries. We are grateful that she has decided to bring her skills to DHS, and we know she will be successful.”

The native Arkansan most recently was CareSource PASSE’s Senior Director of Operations. Prior to her appointment as the fourth PASSE in January 2022, she was an AVP of operations at Empower Healthcare. In that role, she oversaw the organization’s implementation.

Brezee got her master’s degree in social work from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock after starting her career as a school-based mental health worker with Pathfinder, Inc.

Brezee has extensive knowledge with Medicaid, having worked in the program for the last eighteen years.

“DDS is charged with connecting Arkansans with developmental disabilities and delays to services that let them lead full, productive, and meaningful lives,” Brezee said. “I am incredibly proud to join DHS and to embrace this mission, and I look forward to building on DDS’ rich history of making positive impacts on the lives of beneficiaries across our state.”


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