Under the Dome

State health agency hires IT director

Joseph Cooper Jr., an information technology specialist with extensive professional experience at major banks, has been hired to be the chief information officer at the state Department of Health and Human Services.

This is a newly created executive-level position, and Cooper will earn $175,000 a year. He starts in early February.

Cooper will be responsible for all of the department's information technology projects, including the troubled Medicaid billing system, which is behind schedule and over budget.

DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos and Gov Pat McCrory's IT chief Chris Estes announced the hire.

“The technology needs of DHHS are many, glaring and longstanding,” Wos said in a statement. “Without adequate, up-to-date technology, this Department can neither capably nor efficiently serve the millions of North Carolinians who rely on DHHS. Joe Cooper’s extensive experience will be a valuable asset in evaluating technological needs for an operation as diverse as DHHS while instituting a culture of customer service.”

Cooper has been senior VP for technology and operations with RBC in Raleigh since 2009. He was a VP and chief information officer at First Citizens in Raleigh for 15 years, and worked at Bank of America in Charlotte for 17 years.

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