Willden has served as Director of the Department of Health
and Human Services (DHHS) since July 2001, first appointed
by Governor Kenny Guinn, reappointed by Governor Jim
Gibbons, and appointed again by Governor Brian Sandoval. He
is responsible for oversight of the largest department in
Nevada state government, with approximately 5200 employees
and 29% of the budget.
The divisions within DHHS include Aging and Disability
Services, Child and Family Services, the Health Division,
Health Care Financing and Policy (Medicaid), Mental Health
and Developmental Services, Welfare and Supportive Services,
and the Office of the Public Defender. Major programs within
the Directorís Office include the Governorís Office of
Consumer Health Assistance, Office of Minority Health,
Office of Suicide Prevention, and the Grants Management
Mike has been recognized for his advocacy in human services
by many organizations, including: Nevada Disability Advocacy
and Law Centers (2004); National Association of Social
Workers, Nevada Chapter, 2005 Community Advocate of the
Year; and by the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow
(2005 Citizen of Distinction).
He has been appointed to serve on many boards and
commissions, including the Welfare Reform Task Force, Child
Care Advisory Board, Early Intervention Interagency
Coordinating Council, Developmental Disabilities Planning
Council, Commission on Aging, Governorís Statewide Work
Investment Board, Certified Public Managerís Advisory Board,
and the Nevada Academy of Health Steering Committee.
Prior to his appointment as Department Director, Mike was
the State Welfare Administrator and worked in that agency in
different capacities for 25 years, beginning his career at
DHHS as a case worker.
A native Nevadan, Mike earned a degree in Business
Administration from Southern Utah University.