Randall W. Williams, MD, FACOG, Director
(573) 751-6001, Debbie Mebruer, Executive Assistant
The oversight for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services comes from the director, who is responsible for the management of the department and the administration of its programs and services.
The divisions of Administration, Community and Public Health, Regulation and Licensure, and Senior and Disability Services; State Public Health Laboratory, Offices of Public Information, General Counsel, Governmental Policy and Legislation report to the director.
A State Board of Health and State Board of Senior Services advise the director regarding the priorities, policies and programs of the department and review rules promulgated by the department. The boards each consist of seven members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Missouri Senate.
Dr. Randall Williams Bio
Randall W. Williams, MD, FACOG, is an obstetrician and gynecologist who graduated from the University of North Carolina with Honors in History and Zoology and received his medical training at the University of North Carolina where he was a Holderness Fellow.
Dr. Williams was appointed as the Cabinet Director of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and was subsequently unanimously confirmed by the Missouri Senate on March 9, 2017. He believes a fundamental tenet of effective leadership is to be readily available and accessible. He has visited all of Missouri’s 115 counties to listen and learn from all of Missouri’s citizens.
DHSS accomplishments to date with Dr. Williams include passage of Missouri’s Good Samaritan Law and Universal Narcan Availability Law; establishing a proactive statewide PDMP; holding opioid summits throughout the state; and bringing together all 115 Local Health Departments for the first time in more than a decade. The department is also working to increase the number of providers in rural and underserved areas; promote physical fitness and community engagement through the My Missouri Steps Up initiative; enhance interagency coordination and collaboration with the state Departments of Social Services and Mental Health; and improve all aspects of women’s health, especially to reduce infant and maternal mortality.
Dr. Williams’ efforts to improve the health of Missourians extend from the Capital to the classroom: in the spring of 2018, he co-taught a course in Public Service, Government and Public Health for the University of Missouri’s Master of Public Health program.
Dr. Williams previously served as both the Deputy Secretary for Health and State Health Director in the Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina. His responsibilities there included developing, integrating and communicating state health policy and helping lead a 17,000 member agency with a 20 billion dollar budget that combined Medicaid, social services, public health and mental health services.
To help patients and families affected by the opioid crisis, Dr. Williams led efforts in North Carolina that resulted in the legislature voting unanimously to implement a statewide standing order to treat narcotic overdoses by making naloxone available to everyone in North Carolina under his authority. He also visited stakeholders and citizens in all 100 counties in the state during his time with the department.
Dr. Williams has also previously served on local and state boards of health, in addition to delivering 2000 babies as a practicing obstetrician. He also helped serve the medical needs of people in overseas conflict zones. His ongoing work has taken him to Iraq 12 times, and he has worked in Afghanistan, Libya and Haiti. Recognition of these efforts was reflected in his selection as Triangle Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year and the Raleigh News & Observer’s Tar Heel of the Week.
He is an avid runner. Dr. Williams believes physical exercise contributes greatly to a sense of wellness and led a campaign to encourage families to run 5Ks for charity. He enjoys training for and running marathons and has run marathons in Boston, New York, Paris, Athens, Florence and Jerusalem.