CHARLESTON — The chairman of the West Virginia House of Delegates’ Health Committee has been named commissioner of the newly established Bureau for Social Services within the Department of Health and Human Resources.
Del. Jeffrey Pack, R-Raleigh, will resign from his position as delegate. His district includes parts of Raleigh, Summers and Monroe counties.
Pack, of Cool Ridge, West Virginia, was appointed to the House in January 2018 and then elected for two two-year terms. According to his legislative biography, he works in human resources and was last employed with Metrick Pest Control. He is a graduate of Concord University.
“Jeff’s experience serving as the chair of the House Health and Human Resources Committee is a great asset for the state,” said DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch in a release. “As a legislator, he has seen firsthand the issues that many families face and has demonstrated great dedication to West Virginia’s children and families. He has led the effort to provide funding for Child Protective Services (CPS) as well as shepherded the transition to managed care for our CPS population. I am confident he is ready to tackle this new bureau with a fresh perspective.”
DHHR is splitting the Bureau for Children and Families into two new bureaus timed with the retirement of bureau commissioner Linda Watts. Along with the Bureau for Social Services, the department is recruiting a commissioner for Bureau of Family Assistance. The department hopes the split will streamline systems and allow social services workers on cases to not get distracted by other issues, like providing support for foster families.
“I am very blessed to be granted this opportunity to effectuate change within our child welfare system,” Pack said in the release. “We have the opportunity to enhance the lives of so many children who have faced significant challenges. I look forward to getting started.”
Cammie Chapman, general counsel for the Bureau of Children and Families, is serving as interim commissioner in the meantime. Watts served with DHHR for 16 years.
“Linda leaves behind a wonderful legacy of passion and care for the health and well-being of West Virginia’s children and families,” Crouch said. “I am thankful for her leadership and wish her the best in her retirement. I am also thankful for Cammie’s efforts to ensure a smooth transition as Jeff steps into this important role.”
Pack’s new position is effective Aug. 2.