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Director's Office

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, Isaac.


  • Director, Richard Opper, (406) 444-5622,
  • Economic Services Branch Manager, Bob Runkel, (406) 444-5622,
  • Medicaid & Health Services Branch Manager, Mary Dalton, (406) 444-5622,
  • Operations Services Branch Manager, Marie Matthews, (406) 444-5622,
  • Public Information Office, Jon Ebelt, (406) 444-0936,
  • Communications Specialist, Chuck Council, (406) 444-4391,
  • Chief Information Officer (IT), Stuart Fuller, (406) 444-5622,
  • Office Manager, Sheila Lopach, (406) 444-5623,
  • Chief Legal Counsel, Frank Clinch, (406) 444-3127,
  • Human Resources Director, Deb Sloat, (406) 444-3426,
  • Prevention Resource Center Director, Vicki Turner, (406) 444-3484,
  • Intergovernmental Relations, Jessica Rhoades, (406) 444-3666,
  • Office of American Indian Health, Mary Lynn Billy-Old Coyote, (406) 444-2748,
  • Tribal Relations Manager, Lesa Evers, (406) 444-1813,
  • Administrative Assistant, Leah Anderson, (406) 444-9772,   
  • Children's Trust Fund Grant Manager, Jamey Petersen, (406) 444-3002,
  • Financial Specialist Supervisor, Eric Higginbotham, (406) 444-6938,
  • Medicaid Policy Analyst, Mary Eve Kulawik, (406) 444-2584,
  • Montana No Kid Hungry Campaign Manager, Lisa Lee (406) 444-3518,
  • VISTA Project Supervisor, Abby Zent, (406) 444-9654,

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