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Director's Office

The Director’s Office of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services provides professional support to the agency’s three branches and 12 divisions. The three branches are Operations Services, Medicaid and Health Services and Economic Security Services.

The Director’s Office is made up of the Department Director; the Office of Legal Affairs; the Human Resources Office; the Prevention Resource Center; Office of Governmental Support; and the Public Information Office.
The Director’s Office oversees the four overarching goals of the department:

  • All Montana children are healthy, safe and in permanent, loving homes.
  • All Montanans have the tools and support to be as self-sufficient as possible.
  • All Montanans are injury free, healthy and have access to quality health care.
  • All Montanans can contribute to the above through community service.

Richard Opper, DPHHS DirectorDirector Richard Opper was appointed by Governor Steve Bullock in December 2012 to oversee the agency’s 3,000 employees, 2,500 contracts and 150 major programs. DPHHS is the largest agency of state government, with a biennial budget of about $4 billion. He is responsible for overall department policy development, management, and coordination of programs.

At his previous post at the Department of Environmental Quality, Opper led a division of hundreds of employees and oversaw standards that maintain the health of the state's land and water.  He previously held leadership posts at the Missouri River Basin Association and the Northern Lights Institute.  In 2012, he was chosen to participate in the Henry Toll Fellowship Program, which selects 40 state leaders around the country for training in state government.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree from Montana State University. Opper and his wife, Sally Mueller, have one son, Issac. 


Director, Richard Opper
Economic Security Services Branch Manager, Bob Runkel
Medicaid & Health Services Branch Manager, Mary Dalton
Operations Services Branch Manager, Marie Matthews
Chief Information Officer, Stuart Fuller
Children's Trust Fund Grant Manager, Jamey Petersen
Financial Specialist Supervisor, Eric Higginbotham
Intergovernmental Relations, Jessica Rhoades
Medicaid Policy Analyst, Mary Eve Kulawik
Montana No Kid Hungry Campaign Manager, Lisa Lee
Operations Revenue Forecasting Specialist
Prevention Resources Center Director, Vicki Turner
VISTA Project Supervisor, Abby Zent
Tribal Relations Manager, Lesa Evers
Tribal Medicaid Specialist
Public Information Officer, Jon Ebelt
Communications Specialist, Herbert "Chuck" Council
Executive Assistant & Office Manager, Sheila Lopach
Administrative Assistant, Leah Anderson



To contact the Director's Office:

111 North Sanders, Room 301, Helena, MT 59620
PO Box 4210 , Helena MT 59604-4210
(406) 444-5622
Fax: (406) 444-1970

Page last updated: 09/25/2014