Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: May 28, 2024

Acting commissioner named to step in for Lambrew at Health and Human Services

Just a week before the scheduled departure of Jeanne Lambrew from Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, Gov. Janet Mills has appointed an acting commissioner from within.

Sara Gagné-Holmes is the acting commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Photo / Courtesy Office of Governor
Sara Gagné-Holmes

Sara Gagné-Holmes is a five-year deputy commissioner with a long record in health policy.

She will begin in the interim role on June 1, stepping in for Lambrew, who said earlier this month that she would leave the department’s top job in order to accept a think-tank position and to teach at Harvard University.

“Having served as deputy commissioner for more than five years, she deeply understands the operations of the department and will ensure that it remains in capable hands as I continue to consider candidates to succeed Commissioner Lambrew and carry forward the important work of advancing the health and welfare of Maine people,” said Mills.

Gagné-Holmes said she would use the opportunity to build on Lambrew’s leadership of the department and advance its work during the transition.

Sanford native

Gagné-Holmes grew up in Sanford, earned an undergraduate degree at Bowdoin and a law degree from the University of Maine School of Law, and served as a law clerk with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. 

She practiced law with a focus on health care at a Maine firm before serving as a health policy and legal advisor for Gov. John Baldacci, who served as Maine’s governor from 2003 to 2011, and led work in nonprofit advocacy and philanthropy. 

Joining the DHHS in March 2019, she served alongside Deputy Commissioners Benjamin Mann and Beth Hamm in the department’s senior leadership team.

Mills said she continues to consider candidates to serve as commissioner and expects to name a nominee in the coming weeks. The nominee will be subject to a hearing before the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee and confirmation by the state Senate.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF