Newsroom > DHHS News Release


July 27, 2009


Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

New Leadership Announced for the Division of Developmental Disabilities
and the Beatrice State Developmental Center

Lincoln – CEO Kerry Winterer announced today that two key leadership positions have been filled in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Winterer announced Governor Dave Heineman’s appointment of Jodi Fenner as director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities, effective today. He also announced Jodi Fenner’s appointment of Daniel L. Howell as CEO of the Beatrice State Developmental Center (BSDC), to be effective August 31st.

“Both of these individuals have the vision and leadership to move Nebraska’s system of services forward, whether at BSDC or in the community setting,” Winterer said.

Fenner has been interim director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities since July 6 and served as DHHS chief legal counsel since November 2007. Her background includes serving as Section Chief, Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Section in the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office; adjunct professor at Southeast Community College; and a variety of financial accounting/management positions.

“Jodi’s skills will allow a new level of insight for both BSDC and community services,” Winterer said. “She cares deeply about the well-being of people with developmental disabilities and will work closely and collaboratively with families and providers to improve services in Nebraska.”

Fenner graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law, completed a 3-year certification program for school administrators at Oklahoma State University, and received a bachelor of science degree in business with an emphasis in accounting from Oklahoma City University. She worked as a governmental auditor and was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Oklahoma.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities is responsible for certification of community providers, technical assistance, regulations, payment for providers of community-based developmental disabilities services, and operation of the Beatrice State Developmental Center, a 24-hour intermediate care facility for persons with developmental disabilities (ICF/MR).

“We’re fortunate to have someone with Dan’s background and experience to lead BSDC at this critical time,” Winterer said. “He will focus on helping BDSC get back its national reputation as a place that uses best practices to provide quality services, and getting recertified through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).”

Howell has served as the CEO of Anne Carlsen Center for Children in Jamestown, ND since 1999. His experience includes developing the first long-term care acute care hospital in North Dakota; nine years as CEO of an organization for special needs children; recruiting physicians; working in the ICF/MR or institutional environment; leading an integrated rural delivery system comprised of an acute care hospital, a basic care facility, clinics and a basic care facility; and long-range planning and marketing.

Howell has a bachelor of arts degree in hospital administration from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and a masters of management degree from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND.