Will Humble – Bio

Will Humble, M.P.H.

Director

Arizona Department of Health Services

Will Humble, Director for the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), has more than 25 years experience working in the public health sector, 20 of those with ADHS. The Department provides a wide array of health related services including Arizona’s behavioral and public health systems, the Arizona State Hospital, medical and child care licensure and certification services, and the Arizona Public Health Laboratory.

 Some of Will’s accomplishments include the following;

  • Leading the statewide initiative to integrate public health principles     and primary care into the State’s behavioral health system for persons with Serious Mental Illness.
  • Led the implementation of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, developing a responsible program that set the stage for a successful medical marijuana program.  
  • Successfully directed the Arizona public health system response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.  
  • Implemented a new nutritionally balanced food package for participants of the Arizona Women Infants and Children WIC Program to address the increasing obesity epidemic. 
  • Improved the Department’s emergency medical services programs, improving Stakeholder relations, initiating the development of Arizona’s new trauma system, and leading the development of public health initiatives such as cardio-cerebral resuscitation (CCR), stroke telemedicine, and cardiac care centers. 
  • Led interventions to improve Arizona’s vaccination rates and expanded vaccination requirements for school entry
  • Authored over 50 environmental health risk assessments and public health consultations at various environmental contamination sites, and communicated health risks to the public and media.

21 comments

  1. Patient says:

    wheres the successfull MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM at that you are credited for? Can I get my money back??

  2. Bob Berbowski Phoenix, AZ says:

    •Led the implementation of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, developing a responsible program that set the stage for a successful medical marijuana program.

    WRONG! you have created a program that lets anyone in the state grow 12 plants in thier home. It is the most un-clear and uneffective law in the country for marijuana.

  3. Bob Berbowski Phoenix, AZ says:

    hey Billy, I found your Masters degree info…

    You went to Berkely and you are anti-marijuana??? Thats kinda unique I think :-)

  4. I would like to thank the AZ Dept. of Health for its cooperation in speaking with patients, answering their questions quickly and expediting the application process. Our patients have been happy with the quick turn around in getting their cards.

  5. B G says:

    Dear Mr. Humble,

    I am a Ryan White Insurance recipient. I moved back to Phoenix from San Diego, CA almost a year ago. In that time, I have struggled, and continue to struggle activating my benefits and getting the appointments needed to keep myself healthy.

    Before moving to Phoenix, I was warned about the lack of client advocacy around the care provided through Ryan White funding in Phoenix. That being the case, I was incredibly proactive in instating my benefits here in Arizona. While in San Diego, I worked for a non profit health organization as a prevention counselor and a case manager so that I have a working knowledge of Ryan White/ADAP programs. Since moving to Phoenix last June, I have flown back to San Diego 3 times to refil prescriptions and go to doctor visits. All this because Care Directions (the case management provider I was told to use here in Phx) could not seem to get me processed in a timely manner…nor get me the proper care I deserved under the Ryan White Act.

    This being the case, I sit here today…still jumping through hoops too get anything/everything accomplished. I found out this morning that my ADAP enrollment is lapsed so that I cannot receive the medications I need to stay healthy. On top of this, I have been sick with either bronchitis or pnemonia for over a week now…and still do not have the medications I need to get better because I was only yesterday able to get in to see a doctor at the McDowell Clinic (the clinic I was told to use here in Phx) and now I have no ADAP so I cannot get the drugs I need to get better.

    This is only the tip of the ice berg of what I’ve had to do over the past year…the list goes on and on. If this is my experience…I’m curious as to the quality of care recipients w/ no or new experience are receiving under the current organizations funded to assist people living with HIV.

    Please help me and us…the system is incredibly broken as I can offer you more information if interested. I have spoken with a lot of people both receiving services and working within the service community that are terribly unsatisfied with the current management of these federally funded programs.

    I want to thank you and your office for your time and attention. Again, please help me!

    • Will Humble says:

      BG,
      We’re looking into your situation. This is a good chance for everyone to learn from what’s happening with you. Your experience shows why you need to have good coordination of care to stay current with services in the ADAP/Ryan White programs.
      Thanks

  6. Burr Gale says:

    Will there be a SNP for those of us who are SMI and do not qualify for extra help for medicare (only by a few dollars in my case)
    Many of the plans do not cover my drugs and I cannot afford the costs. I heard from a case worker about what you’re doing in Phoenix but I will soon no longer qualify for medicare nor live in PHX so that let me out.
    What are you doing to help create an SNP (I just learned this term from clinic a few weeks ago) for Medicare mental health in Arizona?

    • Will Humble says:

      Burr Gale,
      A SNP, or Medicare Special Need Plan, is a requirement in the soon to be released Maricopa County RBHA Request for Proposal (RFP). Because the Maricopa County RFP represents ADHS’ initial effort at integrating behavioral and physical health care for persons with SMI, a SNP is not an available option offered by existing RBHAs. Beginning in October 2013 persons with SMI who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid in Maricopa County will have the option to enroll in the RBHA/SNP and will have all benefits coordinated by one plan.

      For individuals who do not qualify for Medicare, enrollment in a SNP is not an option, as SNPs are health plans for individuals who qualify for Medicare. Individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) should contact their case manager or a local peer and family run organization to get more information about possible assistance with medication costs. ADHS recently restored some of the funding for services to Non-Medicaid-eligible SMI members and the RBHA may have the ability to offer additional benefits or resources to help with medication costs.

  7. Burr Gale says:

    Thank you so much for your reply. I will qualify for Medicare only (not Medicare) due to disability in mid 2012. I was asking specifically if AZ (or Pima County) plans to ever have a Medicare SNP for SMI or the mentally ill.
    As SMI, I was told my meds will be covered until I get Medicare, (and I am greatful–as I don’t know what I would do without that) but I was told by a mental health worker at my county health care clinic that once I qualify for Medicare I know longer get my drugs at no cost, I have to go through a Medicare plan drug list and many of them don’t cover drugs for mental illness.
    I’m just scared about the future because I know the drugs helps save my life.
    Thank you for answering people–it means a lot.

    • Will Humble says:

      Burr Gale,
      Medicare plans can offer different medications, so it is important to compare available plans. You may find one or more Medicare plan that actually does cover the medications you take. While there will not be a special Medicare SNP plan in Pima County for the SMI, there will be other SNP plans that you could choose. For individuals with serious mental illness that do not qualify for Medicaid, most mental health medications are covered. So, the behavioral health provider would try to obtain your medications through your Medicare plan, but if they are not covered by Medicare, there are other funds for medications for those individuals with SMI. I hope this helps.

  8. Robert Marley says:

    Hello Mr. White

    Thank you for your diligent work on getting medical marijuana clinics running, as well as keeping citizens posted.

    Do you have any idea when dispensaries will begin to open?

    Also, do you have any mechanisms in place to check for quality assurance for patients purchasing medications from dispensaries?

    Will there be a legitimate complaint process?

    Thank you for your time and attention.

    • Will Humble says:

      Robert Marley,
      When dispensaries open is really dependent on them. They have many things to go through before they ask us to do an inspection. And ADHS will have a complaint system like we have for other licensed facilities.

  9. Firahs says:

    How in the world does someone with an MPH become director of a state health agency?

  10. Shay Salomon says:

    Dear Will Humble, Director of the AZ Dept of Health

    I understand that the state of Arizona is considering allowing home birth midwives to attend breech births. I appreciate your participation in the discussion. I hear you were an excellent mediator in the recent debate.

    My first child was born healthy and beautifully at home, so slowly and gently (42 hours) that he may have been considered a “problem” at our hospitals and I may have ended up with a C-section.

    My second baby was breech so our midwife referred us to a doctor. She ended up emerging so quickly that the doctor who understood breech could not arrive in time and another, under-trained, young and panicked doctor made a terrible error and fatally damaged her. Her care cost us all of our savings, cost the taxpayer, a quarter million dollars, and after months of needles and incisions ended up costing our daughter her precious life.

    My husband and I are of that group of educated, privileged people who now would consider an “unassisted” birth and would recommend such a birth to friends if they could not find a midwife or doctor to assist them at home. We believe that our daughter would have been better off in an unassisted birth. All evidence indicates that she would have been born healthy. Even if she was not healthy she would have been better off at home. This is not the case for all births, but iatrogenic injury is common enough in hospitals that parents cannot assume that hospitals are safer than home births.

    The US has been cited by Amnesty International because our maternal mortality rate is so high, having doubled in the last 30 years. There seems to be a connection between low home and birth center birth rates, high C-section rates and maternal and infant death. There are countries where outcomes are much better on average, and where home birth rates are higher.

    We are aware that good hospital outcomes are possible and do not criticize women who feel comfortable in hospital settings. We defend their right to go to the hospital. Indeed, the State should do whatever it can to increase the number of doctors who know how to attend a breech birth vaginally. As you probably already know, from the late-eighties until about 2006 doctors were mistrained in breech birth, as there was a (faulty) study published in the Lancet that suggested vaginal breech birth caused cerebral palsy. Although the AMA reversed its suggestion in 2006 there is a lag in services because the current crop of doctors is mostly mistrained. Lay midwives are far more likely to understand breech birth at this point in history, and until doctors can catch up on their training it is imperative that midwives be allowed to attend.

    Perhaps the State could set up trainings so that midwives could re-train doctors in breech birth, as well as perhaps in the Gaskin maneuver, and other physical manipulations that some obstetricians are unaware of, but lay midwives are routinely trained in.

    Besides being better for mothers, these manipulations are essentially free, and could save us all millions of dollars, dollars sorely needed by others in the health care system.

    Again, I thank you for helping to open up the debate.

  11. Dear Director Humble & Dr. Northup

    In regards to your questions about VBACS. Dr. Bendetti OB GYN Professor at University of Washington Seattle, WA recommends the following for VBACs in hospitals:
    You should look at the mom’s BMI, the higher the BMI the poorer the chance of a successful VBAC. Please see this VBAC Calculator that includes the BMI https://mfmu.bsc.gwu.edu/PublicBSC/MFMU/VGBirthCalc/vagbirth.html
    As suggested by your midwifes, it does include past delivery history (e.g. any vag deliveries since last cesarean section) Groban, Lai, Landon, Spong et al 2007….

    Could this be applied to homebirth?

    I commend you on your willingness to work with these women.
    Kind Regards

    Susan Fleming PhD, Perinatal CNS Washington State University, Spokane

  12. Qualifying Patient says:

    Please tell all the qualifying patients authorized to cultivate (QPATCs) that they are not allowed to possess more than 2.5 Ozs of flowers at any time.

    It will save QPATCs thousands in growing expenses and court costs as as soon as a QPATC harvests the flowers from a QPATC’s 12 plants, said QPATC is in violation of the law and subject to state prosecution, so why bother wasting your time and energy just to have to throw it away or be prosecuted for having more than 2.5 Ozs.

    Further, please tell all Citizens of the State of Arizona that are considering becoming a qualifying patient of the AMMA program that on the back of the RIC card issued by DHS, there is a disclaimer that states the AMMA program does not protect the cardholder from local, state or federal laws.

    Rueben Gallego is drafting similar legislation for adult recreational use with a 1 Oz limit and authorization to cultivate 5 plants.

    Can you say bait and switch, entrapment and job security for employees of the criminal justice system at the same time ?

    Each QPATC that was/is prosecuted for exceeding the 2.5 Oz. limit after growing their 12 plants should, at minimum, get their AMMA/DHS fees refunded.

    Why don’t you tell the real truth? That all anti-marijuana laws are unconstitutional and repugnant to the original constitution of the united states of America which was, and is, made of marijuana paper and marijuana ink by marijuana growers.

  13. Ronald says:

    Dear Director Will Humble,

    I was wondering who I can contact in regards to Assisted Outpatient Treatment for mental health clients in Arizona in the form of statistics and state wide implementation? I want to try to have an interview with someone concerning this matter or yourself if you any information. Please let me know. I appreciate your time. Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Ronald Calderon
    Research Assistant
    UCLA department of History and Social Studies

  14. Chris says:

    There needs to be some clarification concerning the rights of Medical Marijuana card holders pertaining to being denied and discriminated against being hired due to testing positive for THC. There seems to be a fine line here. It has been determined that Marijuana is a medicine for legal card holders. Being a medicine should mean it is no different than ANY other prescribed controlled substance. With that said new hepa privacy laws challenge whether “legal” card holders should be tested at all by employers. I have been denied employment now 8 times in a year and am being forced out of the work force due to employers STILL discriminating against my choice in pain management. So now I have to apply for food stamps, housing, etc. when I am perfectly able to work. I would never use a drug that would impair me at work marijuana included. I take pride in my job and I should be respected to properly medicate only when at home and do not operate a vehicle while using any drug that may impair.me. Under NO circumstances should ANY employer deny or discriminate against hiring ANYONE for medical Marijuana use. What is being done to stop this from happening? I respect Mr. Humble and appreciate all he has done with this program. However this issue needs to be addressed ASAP as the number of people being denied employment is growing. And so is the tax payers money going toward supporting us now that we can not be hired. Thank you so much for your time here. Please help get us back to work Mr.Humble :)

  15. Ronda S. says:

    Director Will Humble and Director Bob England,

    I recently began working for ADHS and I previously worked in public health for Maricopa County Department of Public Health. I am proud of the work that both agencies do, and the ways that we have led in the public health arena. I have been a breastfeeding and preventative health advocate for decades. While these issues are important to me and have been a lifelong passion, I now feel that global climate change may eventually make everything else we do obsolete. Why isn’t climate change at the top of the public health agenda? Vaccinations, my precious breastfeeding, nutrition, disease prevention – will any of it matter if we have catastrophic climate change effects? What will it take to elevate this issue in Arizona and the rest of the US? Is there any issue more important in public health today?

    http://news.msn.com/world/global-warming-dials-up-our-risks-un-report-says

    [I realize this is not Dr. Bob’s blog, but I know you both work together on many important issues, and I hope you will pass along my concerns.]

    Worried Mother,

    Ronda S. RN, BSN, IBCLC

  16. Todd says:

    Hello Mr. Humble,

    Quick question: Is it illegal for an MD, DO, or Pain Management center to prescribe opiates to medical marijuana patients, or is an office to office choice in policy?

    Thank you for a timely response,

    Todd