[Q&A] Chuck Palmer – Iowa DHS Director

Jonathan Narcisse Interviews Chuck Palmer

Jonathan Narcisse Interviews Chuck Palmer

Meet Chuck Palmer: The Man In Charge Of Billions!

Charles (Chuck) Palmer has had a front row seat to the significant socio-economic changes our state has experienced the past few decades.

From 1989-1999 Palmer served as the Director for the Iowa Department of Human Services following his tenure as head of the state’s division of mental health and developmental disabilities.

After leaving state government Palmer took over ISED (Institute for Social and Economic Development), an urban based empowerment initiative based in Des Moines.

In that role he again witnessed the key issues impacting urban Iowa, the poor and disadvantaged populations in a way few Iowans have ever experienced.

Palmer Returns to the Behemoth

The Merriam Webster Dictionary describes a behemoth as something of monstrous size, power, or appearance.

The re-election of Gov. Branstad to Terrace Hill resulted in the return of Palmer to head the agency he led for a decade – a behemoth – responsible for the expenditure of more than five billion tax dollars annually. The Medicaid Program alone, minus the Iowa Health and Wellness Programs, is nearly four billion dollars with a significant portion of that paid for by Iowa taxpayers. (See the Issue Review for more details).

UrbanIowaToday.com (UIT) will begin a monthly series in January exploring fully the agency that serves nearly one million unduplicated clients.

On October 21, 2015, however, we didn’t focus on the agency as much as the insights Palmer could share, why his agency is vital to our state and his vision going forward.